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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 Vintage Dietz Vesta Boston & Maine RR Railroad Lantern
Antique Vintage Dietz Vesta Boston & Maine RR Railroad Lantern
$65.00
Adlake Non-Sweating Lamp Antique Railroad Switch Lantern
Adlake Non-Sweating Lamp Antique Railroad Switch Lantern
$219.99
Antique Railroad Switch Signal Weir Frog Cincinnati Cast Iron L
Antique Railroad Switch Signal Weir Frog Cincinnati Cast Iron L
$375.00
Vintage/Antique Union Pacific Railroad Spitoon Brass
Vintage/Antique Union Pacific Railroad Spitoon Brass
$24.99
Antique b&o railroad locomotive train emblem
Antique b&o railroad locomotive train emblem
$800.00
ANTIQUE RED RAILROAD LANTERN
ANTIQUE RED RAILROAD LANTERN
$49.99
Antique Railroad Five Bell Dinner Chime
Antique Railroad Five Bell Dinner Chime
$129.99
Antique Dressel Arlington NJ  Four Lens RailRoad Crossing Lantern
Antique Dressel Arlington NJ Four Lens RailRoad Crossing Lantern
$89.99
One 1800's Rail Road Antique, a: 4 oz. THOMAS A. EDISON BATTERY OIL BOTTLE
One 1800's Rail Road Antique, a: 4 oz. THOMAS A. EDISON BATTERY OIL BOTTLE
$25.00
Old Antique Railroad Shelf Cast Iron Train Luggage Holder
Old Antique Railroad Shelf Cast Iron Train Luggage Holder
$225.00
Old Antique Cast Iron Whistle Railroad Train Sign W X
Old Antique Cast Iron Whistle Railroad Train Sign W X
$500.00
ANTIQUE 1900 RAILROAD TICKET CANADIAN PACIFIC RAIWAY
ANTIQUE 1900 RAILROAD TICKET CANADIAN PACIFIC RAIWAY
$12.15
Ultra Rare Antique Boston Maine Railroad B&M Train Conductor Station Scroll Box
Ultra Rare Antique Boston Maine Railroad B&M Train Conductor Station Scroll Box
$1,985.00
Antique Victorian Railroad Door Handle Set. Probably Adams & Westlake
Antique Victorian Railroad Door Handle Set. Probably Adams & Westlake
$150.00
Antique railroad lantern No. 242 Supreme
Antique railroad lantern No. 242 Supreme
$18.00
Antique Adams & Westlake Co. Railroad Kerosene Lamp Lantern L.E. & W.R.R.
Antique Adams & Westlake Co. Railroad Kerosene Lamp Lantern L.E. & W.R.R.
$119.99
1800's Rail Road Antique; 4 oz. THOMAS A. EDISON's 1st style BATTERY OIL BOTTLE
1800's Rail Road Antique; 4 oz. THOMAS A. EDISON's 1st style BATTERY OIL BOTTLE
$25.00
Vintage Antique Arlington, NJ Dressel Erie Railroad Lantern
Vintage Antique Arlington, NJ Dressel Erie Railroad Lantern
$64.99
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Eagle 400
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Eagle 400
$37.25
antique railroad baggage-luggage wagon spoke wheels- NO RESERVE
antique railroad baggage-luggage wagon spoke wheels- NO RESERVE
$499.99
Antique Morris & Essex Railroad Copper Paint Bucket for Stenciling Dbl Marked
Antique Morris & Essex Railroad Copper Paint Bucket for Stenciling Dbl Marked
$89.00
Antique CHESAPEAKE & OHIO Railway - Railroad  C&O Lock
Antique CHESAPEAKE & OHIO Railway - Railroad C&O Lock
$29.99
ANTIQUE HANDLAN ST. LOUIS 4-WAY RAILROAD RR SWITCH SIGNAL OIL LANTERN
ANTIQUE HANDLAN ST. LOUIS 4-WAY RAILROAD RR SWITCH SIGNAL OIL LANTERN
$199.99
Antique Dressel Switch Lamp Railroad Lantern Arlington N.J.
Antique Dressel Switch Lamp Railroad Lantern Arlington N.J.
$295.00
Antique Locomotive Duplex Stoker Brass Gauge Railroad Steam Engine Old Boiler
Antique Locomotive Duplex Stoker Brass Gauge Railroad Steam Engine Old Boiler
$525.00
 RAILROAD CONDUCTOR BOARDING STEP STOOL VINTAGE ANTIQUE
RAILROAD CONDUCTOR BOARDING STEP STOOL VINTAGE ANTIQUE
$400.00
Vintage Railroad Train Cast Iron House Number Mail Box Street Address Sign
Vintage Railroad Train Cast Iron House Number Mail Box Street Address Sign
$75.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Water / Oil Can
Antique Vintage Railroad Water / Oil Can
$32.39
VTG ANTIQUE ADLAKE KERO 1-34 U.P. UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD TRAIN LANTERN
VTG ANTIQUE ADLAKE KERO 1-34 U.P. UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD TRAIN LANTERN
$65.00
Star Headlight & Lantern Co. Railroad Signal Lantern - Antique ~ Great Patina
Star Headlight & Lantern Co. Railroad Signal Lantern - Antique ~ Great Patina
$14.99
Antique Mining Railroad Track Anvil Blacksmith Paperweight 2 3/4
Antique Mining Railroad Track Anvil Blacksmith Paperweight 2 3/4" Tall 4" long
$75.00
Primitive Old Antique Railroad Pick Axe Farm Adze Mining Trenching Garden Tool 2
Primitive Old Antique Railroad Pick Axe Farm Adze Mining Trenching Garden Tool 2
$10.99
ANTIQUE DRESSEL Arlington NJ RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN
ANTIQUE DRESSEL Arlington NJ RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN
$210.00
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
$116.99
ANTIQUE WOOD RAILROAD TRAIN SET 8 CARS
ANTIQUE WOOD RAILROAD TRAIN SET 8 CARS
$49.99
ANTIQUE CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN RAILROAD TRACK INCLINOMETER GRADE LEVEL PA  62 IN
ANTIQUE CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN RAILROAD TRACK INCLINOMETER GRADE LEVEL PA 62 IN
$279.00
Antique Oxweld Railroad Carbide Lantern TRAIN Lamp Miners complete
Antique Oxweld Railroad Carbide Lantern TRAIN Lamp Miners complete
$99.00
VINTAGE ANTIQUE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP NO 2155 INCOMPLETE FOR PARTS ONLY
VINTAGE ANTIQUE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP NO 2155 INCOMPLETE FOR PARTS ONLY
$14.99
Antique,Nickel & Cast Iron Pullman Spittoon,Railroad,Railway,Pullman Palace Car
Antique,Nickel & Cast Iron Pullman Spittoon,Railroad,Railway,Pullman Palace Car
$149.00
Antique Busby Manufacturing Co., Boston Railroad Conductors Ticket Punch
Antique Busby Manufacturing Co., Boston Railroad Conductors Ticket Punch
$9.95
Antique 1906 Railroad Track Drill Paulus Reed Harvey Wilson
Antique 1906 Railroad Track Drill Paulus Reed Harvey Wilson
$129.99
ANTIQUE DIETZ D-LITE RR RAILROAD KEROSENE LANTERN RED GLOBE
ANTIQUE DIETZ D-LITE RR RAILROAD KEROSENE LANTERN RED GLOBE
$20.00
RARE ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN ADLAKE NON 4 WAY SIGNAL w/ Dressel Karosene Torch
RARE ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN ADLAKE NON 4 WAY SIGNAL w/ Dressel Karosene Torch
$111.83
2 ANTIQUE ADLAKE 4 1/2
2 ANTIQUE ADLAKE 4 1/2" DIAMETER RAILROAD LAMP LENS HOODS
$17.50
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
old antique Fansteel Balkite type LB-1 Railroad Battery Charger + Adlake lantern
old antique Fansteel Balkite type LB-1 Railroad Battery Charger + Adlake lantern
$35.00
10 Antique Vintage Glass Railroad Traffic Sign Cat Eye Marble 13/16
10 Antique Vintage Glass Railroad Traffic Sign Cat Eye Marble 13/16"
$15.00
Antique Edison Cell Battery Jar 7 Porcelain Lid Industrial Lght Vtg Railroad
Antique Edison Cell Battery Jar 7 Porcelain Lid Industrial Lght Vtg Railroad
$149.00
Antique cast iron railroad spittoon old porcelain lined trolley cuspidor FREE SH
Antique cast iron railroad spittoon old porcelain lined trolley cuspidor FREE SH
$45.50
Antique Dressel 4 Way Switch Railroad Lantern Chicago/New York
Antique Dressel 4 Way Switch Railroad Lantern Chicago/New York
$230.00


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.