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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.


Vintage EAGLE NPR * RR Gas & Oil CAN ** Antique RAILROAD Collectible * Steampunk
Vintage EAGLE NPR * RR Gas & Oil CAN ** Antique RAILROAD Collectible * Steampunk
$39.95
ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LAMP ADLAKE-KERO LANTERN CANADA 1921-1923
ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LAMP ADLAKE-KERO LANTERN CANADA 1921-1923
$55.00
Keline Elkhart Antique Railroad Pad / Switch Lock  With Chain NO Key
Keline Elkhart Antique Railroad Pad / Switch Lock With Chain NO Key
$18.00
Antique Railroad Train Switch Lamp Signal Lantern Adlake Red Green Lenses
Antique Railroad Train Switch Lamp Signal Lantern Adlake Red Green Lenses
$195.00
Antique Railroad Lantern Boston Gray
Antique Railroad Lantern Boston Gray
$90.00
Vtg ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD? SWITCH PAD LOCK-NO KEY
Vtg ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD? SWITCH PAD LOCK-NO KEY
$12.99
Antique Morris & Essex Railroad Copper Paint Bucket for Stenciling Dbl Marked
Antique Morris & Essex Railroad Copper Paint Bucket for Stenciling Dbl Marked
$79.00
ANTIQUE PLAINVILLE CT Railroad Lantern SCONSE Booklet 1936 PRICE LIST
ANTIQUE PLAINVILLE CT Railroad Lantern SCONSE Booklet 1936 PRICE LIST
$9.00
ANTIQUE RAILROAD CAST IRON  RAIL SWITCH LOCK
ANTIQUE RAILROAD CAST IRON RAIL SWITCH LOCK
$49.99
2 ANTIQUE ADLAKE  RAILROAD SWITCH LAMP LENS HOODS 4 1/2' Diameter
2 ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD SWITCH LAMP LENS HOODS 4 1/2' Diameter
$17.50
ANTIQUE RAILROAD CABOOSE LAMP CANDLE BRASS ADAMS & WESTLAKE CHICAGO
ANTIQUE RAILROAD CABOOSE LAMP CANDLE BRASS ADAMS & WESTLAKE CHICAGO
$85.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Urbana OH
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Urbana OH
$37.25
Antique Dressel Switch Lamp Railroad Lantern for parts or restore
Antique Dressel Switch Lamp Railroad Lantern for parts or restore
$70.00
Antique NYM Brass Railroad Lock NYC Subway NY Metropolitan Cast Obsolete Mint
Antique NYM Brass Railroad Lock NYC Subway NY Metropolitan Cast Obsolete Mint
$39.00
Antique Brass Pennsylvania Railroad Stand / Holder / Base
Antique Brass Pennsylvania Railroad Stand / Holder / Base
$69.00
Antique Genesy Electric Lantern Co. Railroad Switchman's Lantern Kansas City MO
Antique Genesy Electric Lantern Co. Railroad Switchman's Lantern Kansas City MO
$9.99
Set of 2 Antique Railroad Brass Candle Hanging Lantern 1907 Adams
Set of 2 Antique Railroad Brass Candle Hanging Lantern 1907 Adams
$49.99
Antique Green Glass Railroad
Antique Green Glass Railroad "B" Line Insulator. PRR Pennsylvania RR Penn PA
$9.99
ANTIQUE MAINE CENTRAL RAILROAD DIETZ LANTERN RUBY LENS, SIGNED & NICE ONE!
ANTIQUE MAINE CENTRAL RAILROAD DIETZ LANTERN RUBY LENS, SIGNED & NICE ONE!
$150.00
Antique Vintage 1920's RAILROAD UNION SWITCH & SIGNAL HOUSING AND RELAY MC1 RARE
Antique Vintage 1920's RAILROAD UNION SWITCH & SIGNAL HOUSING AND RELAY MC1 RARE
$1,285.00
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lamp Lantern
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lamp Lantern
$250.00
Antique Illinois Railroad Railway Postal Mail Service Practice Case Exam Kit
Antique Illinois Railroad Railway Postal Mail Service Practice Case Exam Kit
$550.00
Antique Armspear NY 1925 Pennsylvania Railroad PRR Red Fresnell Globe Lantern
Antique Armspear NY 1925 Pennsylvania Railroad PRR Red Fresnell Globe Lantern
$63.99
Antique Vintage Railroad Kerosene Oil Can
Antique Vintage Railroad Kerosene Oil Can
$29.15
RARE Antique Railroad Train Hardware Tools With Storage Display Wood Glass Box
RARE Antique Railroad Train Hardware Tools With Storage Display Wood Glass Box
$299.00
Antique Railroad Lantern Lamp Adlake Non-Sweating Lamp, Chicago Beer Tap Steampk
Antique Railroad Lantern Lamp Adlake Non-Sweating Lamp, Chicago Beer Tap Steampk
$1,295.00
R.R.C.I. Antique Brass candle Railroad Sconce-passenger car lamp-Redmont Railway
R.R.C.I. Antique Brass candle Railroad Sconce-passenger car lamp-Redmont Railway
$60.00
Antique 1934-35 L & N Railroad Employee's Wife Pass
Antique 1934-35 L & N Railroad Employee's Wife Pass
$10.99
Antique Hot Blast 1914 DIETZ Fitzall NEW YORK U.S.A. NO. 65 RAILROAD LANTERN
Antique Hot Blast 1914 DIETZ Fitzall NEW YORK U.S.A. NO. 65 RAILROAD LANTERN
$64.99
antique BRASS railroad trolleycar mechanical counter works perfect steampunk USA
antique BRASS railroad trolleycar mechanical counter works perfect steampunk USA
$45.00
Antique Nashville Chattanooga St. Louis Railroad Railway Lantern Adlake buyitnow
Antique Nashville Chattanooga St. Louis Railroad Railway Lantern Adlake buyitnow
$99.99
ANTIQUE SAFETY CO. NEW YORK BRASS RAILROAD LAMP EARLY 1900's
ANTIQUE SAFETY CO. NEW YORK BRASS RAILROAD LAMP EARLY 1900's
$20.00
Antique Railroad Railway Loading Dock Cart Cast Iron Wheels
Antique Railroad Railway Loading Dock Cart Cast Iron Wheels
$179.99
Antique,Nickel & Cast Iron Pullman Spittoon,Railroad,Railway,Pullman Palace Car
Antique,Nickel & Cast Iron Pullman Spittoon,Railroad,Railway,Pullman Palace Car
$149.00
Vintage Seaboard Coast Line Railroad SCLRR Switch Lock Chain Antique Obsolete
Vintage Seaboard Coast Line Railroad SCLRR Switch Lock Chain Antique Obsolete
$74.50
Old Antique MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILROAD Porcelain & Leather Advertsing WATCH FOB
Old Antique MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILROAD Porcelain & Leather Advertsing WATCH FOB
$20.00
ANTIQUE NEW YORK CENTRAL TRAIN DIETZ RAILROAD KEROSENE LANTERN W/ BLUE GLOBE
ANTIQUE NEW YORK CENTRAL TRAIN DIETZ RAILROAD KEROSENE LANTERN W/ BLUE GLOBE
$249.99
SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR TRACK ID BADGES ANTIQUE SOUVENIR PAIR RARE OLD RAILROAD
SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR TRACK ID BADGES ANTIQUE SOUVENIR PAIR RARE OLD RAILROAD
$45.99
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
$105.29
Antique BAR Bangor & Aroostook Railroad Maine Galvanized Bucket Pail - As Is - B
Antique BAR Bangor & Aroostook Railroad Maine Galvanized Bucket Pail - As Is - B
$24.95
Adlake C&O Antique Kerosene Railroad Lantern, Chesapeake and Ohio Embossed globe
Adlake C&O Antique Kerosene Railroad Lantern, Chesapeake and Ohio Embossed globe
$119.00
Antique Oak Wood Glass Train Railroad Station Desk Cabinet Display Counter Case
Antique Oak Wood Glass Train Railroad Station Desk Cabinet Display Counter Case
$329.00
Antique, Vintage! N.P.R., Northern Pacific Railroad Galvanized Pail, Bucket
Antique, Vintage! N.P.R., Northern Pacific Railroad Galvanized Pail, Bucket
$79.99
Antique PRR butter icer Pennsylvania Railroad
Antique PRR butter icer Pennsylvania Railroad
$30.00
SCARCE ANTIQUE PYLE RAILROAD LANTERN CANNON BALL CABOOSE SIGNAL MARKER LAMP
SCARCE ANTIQUE PYLE RAILROAD LANTERN CANNON BALL CABOOSE SIGNAL MARKER LAMP
$140.00
Vintage Antique Train Station Railroad Step Stool Wood & Steel Rubber Primitive
Vintage Antique Train Station Railroad Step Stool Wood & Steel Rubber Primitive
$224.99
Antique Oxweld Railroad Lamp Model A Union Carbide Lantern
Antique Oxweld Railroad Lamp Model A Union Carbide Lantern
$64.95
Antique  Railroad Train Lantern Oil Lamp Wall Font Bracket Holder
Antique Railroad Train Lantern Oil Lamp Wall Font Bracket Holder
$4.95
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
Antique c1900 New Haven NY Railroad Lines Metal Emblem Token
Antique c1900 New Haven NY Railroad Lines Metal Emblem Token
$55.00


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.