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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.


RAILROAD ANTIQUE 4 WAY ADLAKE LANTERN  SIGNAL LAMP TRAINS
RAILROAD ANTIQUE 4 WAY ADLAKE LANTERN SIGNAL LAMP TRAINS
$169.50
antique railroad insulators
antique railroad insulators
$5.95
VINTAGE ADLAKE HERO RAILROAD LANTERN ANTIQUE
VINTAGE ADLAKE HERO RAILROAD LANTERN ANTIQUE
$99.99
1880's PCSY RITCHIE & SON RAILWAY OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE
1880's PCSY RITCHIE & SON RAILWAY OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE
$149.99
Union Pacific Railroad Working Lock, Solid Brass Antique Finish, Trains Railway
Union Pacific Railroad Working Lock, Solid Brass Antique Finish, Trains Railway
$34.99
antique railroad lantern  Baltimore collector memorabilia railroadiana 
antique railroad lantern  Baltimore collector memorabilia railroadiana 
$64.86
Antique - 9-Brass Railroad Keys - Obsolete - Vintage Barrel RR Keys-All Marked
Antique - 9-Brass Railroad Keys - Obsolete - Vintage Barrel RR Keys-All Marked
$150.00
Antique Wooden Railroad Signs, Statesville and Mocksville, NC
Antique Wooden Railroad Signs, Statesville and Mocksville, NC
$200.00
Antique Railroad Dining Car Liberty Chimes Kohler Liebich Xylophone 4 Note
Antique Railroad Dining Car Liberty Chimes Kohler Liebich Xylophone 4 Note
$49.99
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) Lantern Adlake Kero - Red Globe VINTAGE
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) Lantern Adlake Kero - Red Globe VINTAGE
$58.99
Antique Brass Railroad Pullman Car Overhead Luggage Rack Train Shelf Vintage
Antique Brass Railroad Pullman Car Overhead Luggage Rack Train Shelf Vintage
$299.99
ANTIQUE HANDLAN ST. LOUIS RAILROAD LANTERN w/  BURNER - RED LENS - V.G. COND.
ANTIQUE HANDLAN ST. LOUIS RAILROAD LANTERN w/ BURNER - RED LENS - V.G. COND.
$95.00
L&N RR Railroad Train Lock Vintage Antique Louisville and Nashville
L&N RR Railroad Train Lock Vintage Antique Louisville and Nashville
$24.95
Antique B.&M.R.R. Railroad Lantern Part Dietz Vesta Boston & Maine
Antique B.&M.R.R. Railroad Lantern Part Dietz Vesta Boston & Maine
$14.49
Vintage Railroad Lock Lot of antique locks & keys Brass NY New York small large
Vintage Railroad Lock Lot of antique locks & keys Brass NY New York small large
$99.00
PRR RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILWAY ORIGINAL
PRR RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILWAY ORIGINAL
$39.95
Antique MILWAUKEE ROAD CHICAGO ST LOUIS Railroad Letterpres Printing Block Train
Antique MILWAUKEE ROAD CHICAGO ST LOUIS Railroad Letterpres Printing Block Train
$34.72
3 Antique Brass Screw-In Railroad Lantern Burners NOS
3 Antique Brass Screw-In Railroad Lantern Burners NOS
$35.00
Antique Dietz ACME Inspector Railroad Lantern Clear Glass Kerosene Oil Lamp
Antique Dietz ACME Inspector Railroad Lantern Clear Glass Kerosene Oil Lamp
$80.00
Lot of 6 Antique RailRoad Keys, 1 Lock, 1 RR Car Track Switch SF, CRI
Lot of 6 Antique RailRoad Keys, 1 Lock, 1 RR Car Track Switch SF, CRI
$470.00
VINTAGE ORIGINAL B&O RAILROAD SAFETY POSTER 1957 LANTERN ADVERTISING ANTIQUE
VINTAGE ORIGINAL B&O RAILROAD SAFETY POSTER 1957 LANTERN ADVERTISING ANTIQUE
$120.00
Antique Dietz No 39 City of New York Railroad Trolley Lantern
Antique Dietz No 39 City of New York Railroad Trolley Lantern
$50.00
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: ERIE RAILROAD 563 JC (Jersey City)
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: ERIE RAILROAD 563 JC (Jersey City)
$13.99
Antique Santa Fe Railroad oil switch lantern oil lamp
Antique Santa Fe Railroad oil switch lantern oil lamp
$299.00
Antique Railroad Badge Chicago Union Station Mail Handlers Pin Early 1900's
Antique Railroad Badge Chicago Union Station Mail Handlers Pin Early 1900's
$50.00
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Adlake Chicago Oil Lantern w Burner PRR lamp
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Adlake Chicago Oil Lantern w Burner PRR lamp
$595.00
Antique Non Sweating Adlake Lamp Chicago - Railroad Lamp
Antique Non Sweating Adlake Lamp Chicago - Railroad Lamp
$149.00
75 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5
75 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5" LOT OF 75
$44.00
SCARCE 200LB L & N RAILROAD ANTIQUE CAST IRON FENCE POST LOUISVILLE NASHVILLE
SCARCE 200LB L & N RAILROAD ANTIQUE CAST IRON FENCE POST LOUISVILLE NASHVILLE
$1,391.99
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Keystone Tiffen Set Complete With Carrier
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Keystone Tiffen Set Complete With Carrier
$60.00
VINTAGE ANTIQUE  HOLLOW RAILROAD BARREL KEYS
VINTAGE ANTIQUE HOLLOW RAILROAD BARREL KEYS
$5.57
Vintage Burlington Route Railroad Lantern > Antique Old Rail Road Embossed 6584
Vintage Burlington Route Railroad Lantern > Antique Old Rail Road Embossed 6584
$389.95
Antique railroad lamp, Green , Yellow And Red lenses, Clear Lens Is Missing Rare
Antique railroad lamp, Green , Yellow And Red lenses, Clear Lens Is Missing Rare
$70.00
Antique Hale & Kilburn Train Railroad seat bench Passenger Car  Reversible
Antique Hale & Kilburn Train Railroad seat bench Passenger Car Reversible
$1,100.00
Antique Adlake L & N Railroad Lock, Louisville & Nashville Railroad
Antique Adlake L & N Railroad Lock, Louisville & Nashville Railroad
$19.95
100 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5
100 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5" LOT OF 100
$60.00
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern CHICAGO
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern CHICAGO
$249.99
Antique Railroad Key Fob Tag MICHIGAN CENTRAL RAILROAD MCRR; Detroit Station
Antique Railroad Key Fob Tag MICHIGAN CENTRAL RAILROAD MCRR; Detroit Station
$29.95
antique railroad caboose lantern lamp handlan
antique railroad caboose lantern lamp handlan
$250.00
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Signal Switch Lantern Lamp Chicago
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Signal Switch Lantern Lamp Chicago
$174.99
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad conductors hat
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad conductors hat
$49.00
SCARCE 200LB L & N RAILROAD ANTIQUE CAST IRON FENCE POST LOUISVILLE NASHVILLE b
SCARCE 200LB L & N RAILROAD ANTIQUE CAST IRON FENCE POST LOUISVILLE NASHVILLE b
$1,304.99
Antique FREMONT NEBRASKA RAILROAD Train DEPOT Plate WHEELOCK China Austria
Antique FREMONT NEBRASKA RAILROAD Train DEPOT Plate WHEELOCK China Austria
$69.99
HEAVY STEEL ANTIQUE HANDLAN ST. LOUIS RAILROAD LANTERN
HEAVY STEEL ANTIQUE HANDLAN ST. LOUIS RAILROAD LANTERN
$215.00
2- 1900's Antique Railroad Signal Porcelain Telephone Telegraph Power Insulator
2- 1900's Antique Railroad Signal Porcelain Telephone Telegraph Power Insulator
$11.00
Antique Norfolk & Western Railway Railroad N&W RY Gem OILER
Antique Norfolk & Western Railway Railroad N&W RY Gem OILER
$79.99
Antique Adlake Union Pacific U.P. Railroad Signal Lantern
Antique Adlake Union Pacific U.P. Railroad Signal Lantern
$339.00
50 Railroad Spikes Antique Vintage Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5
50 Railroad Spikes Antique Vintage Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5" LOT OF 50
$34.00
antique PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD signed SLEDGE HAMMER TOOL PRR
antique PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD signed SLEDGE HAMMER TOOL PRR
$125.00
RARE ANTIQUE KNAB'S CHICAGO RAILROAD TRAIN DEPOT CELLULOID POCKET MIRROR SIGN
RARE ANTIQUE KNAB'S CHICAGO RAILROAD TRAIN DEPOT CELLULOID POCKET MIRROR SIGN
$350.00


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.