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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 RACOR RAILROAD SWITCH STAND 1880-1910 CAST IRON
ANTIQUE RACOR RAILROAD SWITCH STAND 1880-1910 CAST IRON
$259.99
Antique Railroad Train Mile Marker Sign * Cast Iron / Iron  Raised Numbers #2471
Antique Railroad Train Mile Marker Sign * Cast Iron / Iron Raised Numbers #2471
$175.00
Antique Chesapeake & Ohio C&O Railroad Conductors Passenger Train Step Stool
Antique Chesapeake & Ohio C&O Railroad Conductors Passenger Train Step Stool
$225.00
Antique Railroad Caboose Lantern The Adams & West Lake Co. Makers Chicago
Antique Railroad Caboose Lantern The Adams & West Lake Co. Makers Chicago
$12.99
Pair of Antique Railroad Lantern Dietz Vesta New York CNX Red Globe Embossed
Pair of Antique Railroad Lantern Dietz Vesta New York CNX Red Globe Embossed
$75.00
RR RAILROAD FIRE EXTINGUISHER UP Union Pacific vintage - ANTIQUE embossed
RR RAILROAD FIRE EXTINGUISHER UP Union Pacific vintage - ANTIQUE embossed
$55.00
Antique Early Wood Railroad Train Order Message Hoop Delivery Loop Frisco RR
Antique Early Wood Railroad Train Order Message Hoop Delivery Loop Frisco RR
$100.00
Antique Union Pacific Adlake Railroad / Train Lantern
Antique Union Pacific Adlake Railroad / Train Lantern
$39.95
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Lantern, Antique Vintage D&RGW Railway Rare
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Lantern, Antique Vintage D&RGW Railway Rare
$219.99
ANTIQUE VINTAGE GENERAL ELECTRIC G E SIGN PLAQUE NAME PLATE RAILROAD TURBINE
ANTIQUE VINTAGE GENERAL ELECTRIC G E SIGN PLAQUE NAME PLATE RAILROAD TURBINE
$100.00
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 Vintage Railroad Lock, Southern Pacific Roadway & Bridge, Great Northern
Antique Vintage Railroad Lock, Southern Pacific Roadway & Bridge, Great Northern
$110.00
Vintage ADLAKE Railroad Padlocks Locks Train Industrial Antique Depot Switch
Vintage ADLAKE Railroad Padlocks Locks Train Industrial Antique Depot Switch
$30.00
TEXAS TXNW RAILWAY TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILROAD SWITCH NO KEY
TEXAS TXNW RAILWAY TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILROAD SWITCH NO KEY
$14.99
Antique CT Ham #20 Railroad Lantern Train Inspector Lamp w/ Reflector
Antique CT Ham #20 Railroad Lantern Train Inspector Lamp w/ Reflector
$100.00
CMStP&P Vintage Antique  Railroad lock barrel Key-
CMStP&P Vintage Antique Railroad lock barrel Key-
$13.99
ANTIQUE RAILROAD SWITCH SIGNAL LANTERN
ANTIQUE RAILROAD SWITCH SIGNAL LANTERN
$275.00
Antique  Railroad Lantern CT Ham No. 20
Antique Railroad Lantern CT Ham No. 20
$75.00
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
Antique Handlan St Louis Railroad Lantern
Antique Handlan St Louis Railroad Lantern
$63.75
AT & SANTA FE DEPOT RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE AT & SFD RAILWAY TRAIN
AT & SANTA FE DEPOT RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE AT & SFD RAILWAY TRAIN
$24.99
Antique Santa Fe Railroad Oil Switch Lamp or Oil Train Lantern
Antique Santa Fe Railroad Oil Switch Lamp or Oil Train Lantern
$385.95
ANTIQUE HANDLAN NYNH&H RAILROAD TRAIN ENGINE SWITCH LANTERN LIGHT PARTS REPAIR
ANTIQUE HANDLAN NYNH&H RAILROAD TRAIN ENGINE SWITCH LANTERN LIGHT PARTS REPAIR
$49.99
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Adlake Chicago Oil Lantern w Burner PRR lamp
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Adlake Chicago Oil Lantern w Burner PRR lamp
$595.00
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
2 Antique RR Railroad Signal Switch Lamp Lantern Light Train Switch C
2 Antique RR Railroad Signal Switch Lamp Lantern Light Train Switch C
$285.00
Antique Adlake Burlington Route Railroad Lantern Red Green Lens Lamp w RR Shade
Antique Adlake Burlington Route Railroad Lantern Red Green Lens Lamp w RR Shade
$249.99
Antique wick oil lamp railroad
Antique wick oil lamp railroad
$80.00
Antique Adlake  Adams and Westlake latern Wabash railroad
Antique Adlake Adams and Westlake latern Wabash railroad
$29.95
Vintage Antique Old Functional 4 Sided Railroad Light
Vintage Antique Old Functional 4 Sided Railroad Light
$500.00
B & O Railway Antique Railroad Train Lantern
B & O Railway Antique Railroad Train Lantern "Adlake Reliable" embossed "CNX?"
$150.00
Antique New Haven Railroad COBALT Blue Lantern Globe - RARE
Antique New Haven Railroad COBALT Blue Lantern Globe - RARE
$350.00
Lot of 100 Antique Railroad Date Nails - Assorted Sizes & Numbers
Lot of 100 Antique Railroad Date Nails - Assorted Sizes & Numbers
$44.95
Unique Antique Copper Railroad Lantern/Flashlight
Unique Antique Copper Railroad Lantern/Flashlight
$80.00
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern
$295.00
*30 POUND* Early Antique Vintage Railroad Train Track Section Blacksmith Anvil
*30 POUND* Early Antique Vintage Railroad Train Track Section Blacksmith Anvil
$19.99
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Lantern
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Lantern
$250.00
Dressel Arlington Railroad Lantern Antique Train Red Glass Single Lamp
Dressel Arlington Railroad Lantern Antique Train Red Glass Single Lamp
$137.51
PDNY New York Police Department Railroad Lantern Antique Railway Train Vintage
PDNY New York Police Department Railroad Lantern Antique Railway Train Vintage
$369.99
Antique Locomotive Train Railroad Lamp Lantern Light Headlight
Antique Locomotive Train Railroad Lamp Lantern Light Headlight
$850.00
VTG Antique Keline & Keline S00-M Solid Brass Railroad Caboose Keys
VTG Antique Keline & Keline S00-M Solid Brass Railroad Caboose Keys
$33.95
Antique Old Brass Cap Glass Globe Bell Bottom Railroad Oil Lantern Lamp Parts
Antique Old Brass Cap Glass Globe Bell Bottom Railroad Oil Lantern Lamp Parts
$71.99
Vintage Burlington Route Railroad Lantern > Antique Old Rail Road Embossed 6584
Vintage Burlington Route Railroad Lantern > Antique Old Rail Road Embossed 6584
$389.95
Adlake C&O RR Railroad Lantern Antique Red Globe
Adlake C&O RR Railroad Lantern Antique Red Globe
$85.64
ANTIQUE VINTAGE DIETZ VICTOR RAILROAD/WAGON KEROSENE LANTERN OIL LAMP.
ANTIQUE VINTAGE DIETZ VICTOR RAILROAD/WAGON KEROSENE LANTERN OIL LAMP.
$55.00
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern Marked CHICAGO
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern Marked CHICAGO
$210.00
VINTAGE ANTIQUE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP 2155
VINTAGE ANTIQUE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP 2155
$70.07
ANTIQUE ECOLITE RAILROAD CONDUCTORS HAND SIGNAL LANTERN  Battery Operated
ANTIQUE ECOLITE RAILROAD CONDUCTORS HAND SIGNAL LANTERN Battery Operated
$59.99
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern CHICAGO
Antique Adlake Non-Sweating Railroad Switch Lantern CHICAGO
$279.99
   Antique Dietz No 39 City of New York Railroad Trolley Lantern
Antique Dietz No 39 City of New York Railroad Trolley Lantern
$75.00


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.