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How To Start Your Own Railroad Antiques Collection

If you have an interest in collecting railroad antiques the best way to start is at the beginning. You can start your collection with paper ephemera, some of these include: tickets, dining menus and schedules.


ANTIQUE  ADLAKE RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN / LAMP
ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN / LAMP
$175.00
Antique Railroad Lantern Brass Conductor Presentation Train Sign Advertising Oil
Antique Railroad Lantern Brass Conductor Presentation Train Sign Advertising Oil
$74.50
ANTIQUE BRASS RAILROAD LANTERN KEROSENE OIL LAMP LIGHT BURNER PART NOS
ANTIQUE BRASS RAILROAD LANTERN KEROSENE OIL LAMP LIGHT BURNER PART NOS
$15.00
Antique Brass Railroad Lock N.C.R.W. Switch 8 w/ Key
Antique Brass Railroad Lock N.C.R.W. Switch 8 w/ Key
$500.00
Antique D L & W RR Key Railroad Train  Brass
Antique D L & W RR Key Railroad Train Brass
$29.97
Antique Railroad Train Kerosene Caboose Lamp
Antique Railroad Train Kerosene Caboose Lamp
$75.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Lock with Key - Marked CB & QRR
Antique Vintage Railroad Lock with Key - Marked CB & QRR
$49.99
Antique Vintage Dietz No. 2 D - LITE Railroad Lantern Barn Farm Decor
Antique Vintage Dietz No. 2 D - LITE Railroad Lantern Barn Farm Decor
$75.00
Antique Clear Glass Globe Dietz Vesta  NYCS Railroad Lantern
Antique Clear Glass Globe Dietz Vesta NYCS Railroad Lantern
$49.99
VINTAGE ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN ETCHED RR 1925 EMBOSSED GLOBE
VINTAGE ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN ETCHED RR 1925 EMBOSSED GLOBE
$75.00
ANTIQUE RAILROAD PASSENGER CAR GLASS
ANTIQUE RAILROAD PASSENGER CAR GLASS
$49.00
Antique Vintage General Railway Signal Co. Railroad Electric Signal Lamp
Antique Vintage General Railway Signal Co. Railroad Electric Signal Lamp
$150.00
Vintage Authentic Railroad Train Crossing Red Signal Light W.C. Hayes Antique
Vintage Authentic Railroad Train Crossing Red Signal Light W.C. Hayes Antique
$99.00
ANTIQUE S P T CO SOUTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORTATION CO. RAILROAD LOCK ADLAKE
ANTIQUE S P T CO SOUTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORTATION CO. RAILROAD LOCK ADLAKE
$14.99
Antique Railroad Lantern Boston Gray
Antique Railroad Lantern Boston Gray
$150.00
Antique Railroad Ticket Cabinet with Roll Up Front , Writing table and Drawer
Antique Railroad Ticket Cabinet with Roll Up Front , Writing table and Drawer
$399.00
Antique Dietz Railroad Lantern Clear & Red Glass
Antique Dietz Railroad Lantern Clear & Red Glass
$90.00
CLEAR ANTIQUE RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN LAMP LIGHT GLASS LENS PART
CLEAR ANTIQUE RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN LAMP LIGHT GLASS LENS PART
$12.00
Antique Solid Brass Luggage Rack - Wall Shelf - Railroad Train Car
Antique Solid Brass Luggage Rack - Wall Shelf - Railroad Train Car
$399.95
Antique Blake Kerosene Railroad Switchers' Lamp
Antique Blake Kerosene Railroad Switchers' Lamp
$250.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Passenger Car Coat Rack Hat rack 6 Hooks ~ 37
Antique Vintage Railroad Passenger Car Coat Rack Hat rack 6 Hooks ~ 37" long
$120.00
Antique Vtg Embury Traffic Gard Guard No.40 Railroad RR Lantern Ruby Red Globe
Antique Vtg Embury Traffic Gard Guard No.40 Railroad RR Lantern Ruby Red Globe
$19.99
ANTIQUE DRESSEL SEMOPHORE SIGNAL RAILROAD LAMP - CLEAR LENS - BR
ANTIQUE DRESSEL SEMOPHORE SIGNAL RAILROAD LAMP - CLEAR LENS - BR
$141.75
Antique Railroad Lantern
Antique Railroad Lantern
$100.00
SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR TRACK PAIR ID BADGES ANTIQUE RAILROAD HISTORY AUTHENTIC
SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR TRACK PAIR ID BADGES ANTIQUE RAILROAD HISTORY AUTHENTIC
$44.99
Antique 36
Antique 36" railroad train car luggage rack~Trolley coat hooks rack~Hall tree
$99.95
ANTIQUE VINTAGE SMALL 5 lb  Anvil Railroad Track Bookend Doorstop Workbench
ANTIQUE VINTAGE SMALL 5 lb Anvil Railroad Track Bookend Doorstop Workbench
$20.00
ANTIQUE VINTAGE GERMAN RAILROAD CARBIDE LAMP LANTERN TRAIN WHITE RED GREEN LIGHT
ANTIQUE VINTAGE GERMAN RAILROAD CARBIDE LAMP LANTERN TRAIN WHITE RED GREEN LIGHT
$99.00
Lot of 2 - Vintage Antique GENERAL SIGNAL Railroad Signal Lenses (8 3/8
Lot of 2 - Vintage Antique GENERAL SIGNAL Railroad Signal Lenses (8 3/8")
$39.99
Antique Railroad Advertising FriscoLine Iron Match Box Holder w/ Telephone
Antique Railroad Advertising FriscoLine Iron Match Box Holder w/ Telephone
$90.00
ANTIQUE THE MC VICAR FLINT & LOMAX RAILROAD TRAIN 31
ANTIQUE THE MC VICAR FLINT & LOMAX RAILROAD TRAIN 31" OIL CAN OILER LONG SPOUT
$49.95
 ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN  KEYSTONE THE CASEY PRR EMBOSS GLASS RARE ELECTRIFIED
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN KEYSTONE THE CASEY PRR EMBOSS GLASS RARE ELECTRIFIED
$299.99
VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILROAD LAMP PRR HANDLAN ST LOUIS RR GLOBE
VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILROAD LAMP PRR HANDLAN ST LOUIS RR GLOBE
$285.95
Antique Railroad Lantern Lamp Switch Red & Green Signal Converted
Antique Railroad Lantern Lamp Switch Red & Green Signal Converted
$275.00
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
$129.99
Antique Dietz New York NY NH & H Railroad Lantern All Original
Antique Dietz New York NY NH & H Railroad Lantern All Original
$94.95
Antique 1934-35 L & N Railroad Employee's Wife Pass
Antique 1934-35 L & N Railroad Employee's Wife Pass
$12.99
~ ERIE RAILROAD SIGN ~ TRAIN FIRE EXTINGUISHER COPPER BRASS Vtg ANTIQUE
~ ERIE RAILROAD SIGN ~ TRAIN FIRE EXTINGUISHER COPPER BRASS Vtg ANTIQUE
$300.00
Antique Peacock Brake No.1000 Railroad Train Car Hand Brake Wheel Made In USA
Antique Peacock Brake No.1000 Railroad Train Car Hand Brake Wheel Made In USA
$99.00
VINTAGE ANTIQUE TRAIN RAILROAD PULLMAN COAT HOOK SET OF 3
VINTAGE ANTIQUE TRAIN RAILROAD PULLMAN COAT HOOK SET OF 3
$28.88
Antique Borden's Belson Chicago Square Railroad Lantern Lamp
Antique Borden's Belson Chicago Square Railroad Lantern Lamp
$68.00
Santa Fe Route Antique Railroad Train Kerosene Torch Rusty Iron Metal Can
Santa Fe Route Antique Railroad Train Kerosene Torch Rusty Iron Metal Can
$30.00
Antique Roll Front Railroad Ticket Display Cabinet Pine Chestnut BLADES PATENT
Antique Roll Front Railroad Ticket Display Cabinet Pine Chestnut BLADES PATENT
$550.00
Antique Handlan St Louis C & ORY Railroad Wall Mount Kerosene Oil Lantern Lamp
Antique Handlan St Louis C & ORY Railroad Wall Mount Kerosene Oil Lantern Lamp
$119.99
ANTIQUE 1800 RAILROAD MEMROBILLIA GREAT NORTHERN RAILROAD BRAKE CLUB
ANTIQUE 1800 RAILROAD MEMROBILLIA GREAT NORTHERN RAILROAD BRAKE CLUB
$49.00
Antique GNRy Great Northern Railroad Lantern The Adams Clear Cast Globe 1897
Antique GNRy Great Northern Railroad Lantern The Adams Clear Cast Globe 1897
$325.00
Antique Vintage 5 Hook Clothes - Hat - Coat Rack - Railroad Passenger Car Rack
Antique Vintage 5 Hook Clothes - Hat - Coat Rack - Railroad Passenger Car Rack
$159.99
RARE ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE BRASS DOUBLE CHANDELIER LAMP RAILROAD TRAIN CAR
RARE ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE BRASS DOUBLE CHANDELIER LAMP RAILROAD TRAIN CAR
$1,250.00
Adlake railroad lantern antique
Adlake railroad lantern antique
$195.00
Antique railroad cooking heating stove from train caboose
Antique railroad cooking heating stove from train caboose
$950.00


Tickets and schedules are still fairly accessible depending on how far back you would like to go with your collection.

1. Schedules and Tickets

You can start your search for these ephemera at some flea markets, book dealers or ephemera dealers.

Schedules and train tickets are the most cost effective way to start on your collection. You will find that schedules came out in multiple editions and were mass produced.

Train tickets are additionally easy to find especially used ones and you will be able to pick these up from about $5. The more rare ones may be difficult to find but they are out there.

2. Dining menus

Depending on the train and the country you can find the most fascinating food menus from these old trains.

These type of menus range between 50 to 60 dollars a piece. You can even start a collection on the menu’s they had for children.

3. Calendars and Posters

This collection is a lot more expensive than the tickets and the menus. Railroads owned a printing press that they would use to advertise on certain posters and calendars.

A highly collectible calendar dates back to the 20th Century. This era introduced streamlined trains and the rail road companies started advertising on posters through out the 1920’s to the 1930’s.

The most valuable calendars that are still in good condition can easily fetch a very high price. They are usually sold at auctions, if you would like to invest in one of these it is recommended you set aside a lot of money.

The companies in these times used the posters to advertise and display their services at well known travel agencies.

When you start this type of collection try and put your focus into a certain train line or area. It is very easy to get side tracked and you will want your collection to represent a certain theme.

You could even focus your search on your own home town it may make your collection more meaningful to you.

How ever you decide to start your collection have fun with it and try sticking to a certain theme. Allocate a certain amount of money you have available and try not to overspend.