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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.


CM & St P RR Antique Brass Railroad Keys Barrel Chicago Milwaukee St Paul (Pair)
CM & St P RR Antique Brass Railroad Keys Barrel Chicago Milwaukee St Paul (Pair)
$49.00
ANTIQUE RAILROAD
ANTIQUE RAILROAD "PULLMAN" TRAIN STOOL - 17 1/2" X 12 1/2" X 10 1/4" - RARE FIND
$199.00
Antique vintage Dressel railroad lantern with red globe lens. Nice and clean t
Antique vintage Dressel railroad lantern with red globe lens. Nice and clean t
$75.00
Antique DIETZ ACME INSPECTOR LAMP Pennsylvania Railroad Lantern - P.R.R. Symbol
Antique DIETZ ACME INSPECTOR LAMP Pennsylvania Railroad Lantern - P.R.R. Symbol
$109.95
Antique Adlake Non Sweating Railroad Signalman Lamp
Antique Adlake Non Sweating Railroad Signalman Lamp
$199.00
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
$267.00
Antique Oak Wood Glass Train Railroad Station Desk Cabinet Display Counter Case
Antique Oak Wood Glass Train Railroad Station Desk Cabinet Display Counter Case
$399.00
ANTIQUE FUEL RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN WITH RED FILTER CIRCA 1900'S
ANTIQUE FUEL RAILROAD SWITCH LANTERN WITH RED FILTER CIRCA 1900'S
$120.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can With Cap Oiler Dutton-Lainson Co. Golden Rod
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can With Cap Oiler Dutton-Lainson Co. Golden Rod
$45.99
Antique Obsolete Railroad Train Lock Switch Key Western Pacific Railway Vintage
Antique Obsolete Railroad Train Lock Switch Key Western Pacific Railway Vintage
$89.99
ANTIQUE DIETZ RAILROAD LANTERN GLASS GLOBE
ANTIQUE DIETZ RAILROAD LANTERN GLASS GLOBE
$24.95
Antique Brass Railroad Shelf Luggage Holder
Antique Brass Railroad Shelf Luggage Holder
$225.00
Vintage Antique Brass Railroad Luggage Baggage Tag SM&N RR 536 Mt. Vernon
Vintage Antique Brass Railroad Luggage Baggage Tag SM&N RR 536 Mt. Vernon
$99.99
Southern Pacific Lines Railroad Lock, Solid Brass With Antique Finish, Trains
Southern Pacific Lines Railroad Lock, Solid Brass With Antique Finish, Trains
$33.99
ANTIQUE PA RAILROAD OIL BURNER/USA/DAYTON/IRON CO/ANTIQUE PA RAILROAD IRON PIECE
ANTIQUE PA RAILROAD OIL BURNER/USA/DAYTON/IRON CO/ANTIQUE PA RAILROAD IRON PIECE
$53.63
Antique Denver & Rio Grande Wesrtern Railroad Water Oil Can Railway D&R.G.W
Antique Denver & Rio Grande Wesrtern Railroad Water Oil Can Railway D&R.G.W
$39.00
Antique Cast Iron Railcar Door Handle Railroad Car Engine C&NW Estate Find 10
Antique Cast Iron Railcar Door Handle Railroad Car Engine C&NW Estate Find 10"
$89.99
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
$189.00
Antique DL&W RR Railroad Eagle Wick Oil Lamp Delaware Lackawanna Western 1912
Antique DL&W RR Railroad Eagle Wick Oil Lamp Delaware Lackawanna Western 1912
$43.99
Antique Industrial Railroad Train Car Cart Cast Iron Steel Wheels w/ Axle
Antique Industrial Railroad Train Car Cart Cast Iron Steel Wheels w/ Axle
$175.00
Antique PRR Stamped Pennsylvania Railroad Coal Tool Pitch Fork Train Shovel
Antique PRR Stamped Pennsylvania Railroad Coal Tool Pitch Fork Train Shovel
$149.99
Antique Star Headlight & Lantern Co Railroad Lamp Lantern Flashlight battery
Antique Star Headlight & Lantern Co Railroad Lamp Lantern Flashlight battery
$24.95
Antique Adlake Railroad Lantern Signal Type w/ Red & Blue Lenses
Antique Adlake Railroad Lantern Signal Type w/ Red & Blue Lenses
$225.00
 Antique SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILROAD Train Makers Builders Cast Sign Baltimore MD
Antique SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILROAD Train Makers Builders Cast Sign Baltimore MD
$19.00
antique railroad track level
antique railroad track level
$75.00
ANTIQUE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD SWITCH LOCK EARLY 1900's
ANTIQUE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD SWITCH LOCK EARLY 1900's
$99.99
New York Central Railroad Wash Bucket Clean Vintage Antique Galvanized Pail NYCS
New York Central Railroad Wash Bucket Clean Vintage Antique Galvanized Pail NYCS
$29.99
RARE Antique Fort Smith & Western Railway FS&W Railroad Copper Letter Opener
RARE Antique Fort Smith & Western Railway FS&W Railroad Copper Letter Opener
$100.00
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 Railroad NSWR Brass Shelf / Rack. Brass wire webbing, decorators dream
ANTIQUE Railroad NSWR Brass Shelf / Rack. Brass wire webbing, decorators dream
$199.95
Antique Primitive Tin Metal Kerosene Oil Lamp Railroad Handle Toleware Oil Lamp
Antique Primitive Tin Metal Kerosene Oil Lamp Railroad Handle Toleware Oil Lamp
$14.50
2 PCS ANTIQUE ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD WRENCH LOT  VINTAGE RR L@@K
2 PCS ANTIQUE ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD WRENCH LOT VINTAGE RR L@@K
$9.99
Antique Telegraph Sounder Sender Cast Iron Swing arm Railroad LOT Bunnell Box
Antique Telegraph Sounder Sender Cast Iron Swing arm Railroad LOT Bunnell Box
$500.00
Antique Brass Pennsylvania Railroad Stand / Holder / Base
Antique Brass Pennsylvania Railroad Stand / Holder / Base
$51.00
 Antique 1971 SOUTHERN RAILWAY Train Railroad Makers Builders Cast Aluminum Sign
Antique 1971 SOUTHERN RAILWAY Train Railroad Makers Builders Cast Aluminum Sign
$19.00
Antique c.1880 BRASS Padlock RAILROAD Unmarked THICK Heavy Duty HEART
Antique c.1880 BRASS Padlock RAILROAD Unmarked THICK Heavy Duty HEART
$21.60
Antique PRR 4 way switch lantern Pennsylvania Railroad Estate Find
Antique PRR 4 way switch lantern Pennsylvania Railroad Estate Find
$249.99
Antique Missouri Pacific Railroad MO.PAC.RR Eagle Wick Oil Lamp
Antique Missouri Pacific Railroad MO.PAC.RR Eagle Wick Oil Lamp
$49.99
ANTIQUE PAIR RAILROAD LANTERNS CABOOSE LAMPS WALL ADAMS & WESTLAKE TRAIN PULLMAN
ANTIQUE PAIR RAILROAD LANTERNS CABOOSE LAMPS WALL ADAMS & WESTLAKE TRAIN PULLMAN
$195.00
3 Antique Railroad Depot Grain Measure Cup Bucket Minnesota 1880's Set
3 Antique Railroad Depot Grain Measure Cup Bucket Minnesota 1880's Set
$189.99
VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILROAD RAIL ROAD BARN AUTO CAR JACK L10
VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILROAD RAIL ROAD BARN AUTO CAR JACK L10
$40.00
2 Antique Kopp Glass Railroad Lantern Lenses Red + Clear 1930s 1940
2 Antique Kopp Glass Railroad Lantern Lenses Red + Clear 1930s 1940
$50.00
Antique RAILROAD Tool Check
Antique RAILROAD Tool Check "ERIE R.R. 1481 H.V." BRASS TAG Hexagonal TOKEN Nice
$29.99
1900 antique HANDBOOK RAILROAD SECURITIES income prices dividends stock bond pa
1900 antique HANDBOOK RAILROAD SECURITIES income prices dividends stock bond pa
$87.95
Antique Dietz Railroad Acme Inspector Lamp / Lantern Lamp New York
Antique Dietz Railroad Acme Inspector Lamp / Lantern Lamp New York
$99.99
Antique B & O Railroad  Double Partner’s Desk Inkwell
Antique B & O Railroad Double Partner’s Desk Inkwell
$195.00
Vintage Antique Star Headlight & Co Railroad Lantern Flashlight Honeoye falls ny
Vintage Antique Star Headlight & Co Railroad Lantern Flashlight Honeoye falls ny
$31.50
Antique Railroad Pullman Car Company Wooden Clothes Hanger
Antique Railroad Pullman Car Company Wooden Clothes Hanger
$19.99
ANTIQUE VULCAN LL & B COMPANY RAILROAD / BARN / HOUSE SCREW JACK
ANTIQUE VULCAN LL & B COMPANY RAILROAD / BARN / HOUSE SCREW JACK
$27.50
ANTIQUE CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD BRASS PASSENGERS CHAMBER POT
ANTIQUE CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD BRASS PASSENGERS CHAMBER POT
$90.00


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.