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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 ANTIQUE MODEL A UNION CARBIDE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP
VINTAGE ANTIQUE MODEL A UNION CARBIDE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP
$30.00
Antique Handlan Railroad Train Caboose Lamp Kerosene Lantern - Mint - Must See!
Antique Handlan Railroad Train Caboose Lamp Kerosene Lantern - Mint - Must See!
$125.00
Antique Brass Railway Railroad ICG Railway Key
Antique Brass Railway Railroad ICG Railway Key
$20.00
Antique 1890's RAILROAD UNION SWITCH & SIGNAL HOUSING AND RELAY RARE
Antique 1890's RAILROAD UNION SWITCH & SIGNAL HOUSING AND RELAY RARE
$850.00
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 railroad latern p& l.e.r.r. vintage train vintage
ANTIQUE railroad latern p& l.e.r.r. vintage train vintage
$27.99
ANTIQUE ADLAKE KERO RAILROAD LANTERN KEROSENE OIL LAMP LIGHT GLOBE PART
ANTIQUE ADLAKE KERO RAILROAD LANTERN KEROSENE OIL LAMP LIGHT GLOBE PART
$19.99
OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILWAY BRASS CAST 43
OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILWAY BRASS CAST 43
$69.99
Antique Railroad Steam Engine Gage Indicator Panel Glass Colored Lens
Antique Railroad Steam Engine Gage Indicator Panel Glass Colored Lens
$50.00
Southern Railway SOU RY Railroad Brass Yale Train Lock Padlock- Antique Vintage
Southern Railway SOU RY Railroad Brass Yale Train Lock Padlock- Antique Vintage
$29.99
Antique Brass Railroad Wall Mount Candle Holder Lantern~ Adlake~ Pat. Sept 1907
Antique Brass Railroad Wall Mount Candle Holder Lantern~ Adlake~ Pat. Sept 1907
$60.00
ANTIQUE BRASS GENESY RAILROAD SALESMAN SAMPLE LIGHT/KANSAS CITY
ANTIQUE BRASS GENESY RAILROAD SALESMAN SAMPLE LIGHT/KANSAS CITY
$15.00
 Antique New York Central Systems NYCS Railroad Lantern Dressel Arlington NJ
Antique New York Central Systems NYCS Railroad Lantern Dressel Arlington NJ
$65.00
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
$42.00
ANTIQUE SOUTHERN RAILWAY TIN CUP RAILROAD SRR NORTH CAROLINA ESTATE FIND
ANTIQUE SOUTHERN RAILWAY TIN CUP RAILROAD SRR NORTH CAROLINA ESTATE FIND
$48.00
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
$33.00
Southern Railway SOU RY Railroad Train Brass Yale Lock Padlock- Vintage Antique
Southern Railway SOU RY Railroad Train Brass Yale Lock Padlock- Vintage Antique
$34.99
ANTIQUE BOSTON AND MAINE RAILROAD 20
ANTIQUE BOSTON AND MAINE RAILROAD 20" HI COVERED & HANDLED WATER CAN - V.G.COND.
$29.99
Antique Adlake Non Sweating Railroad Lamp Light Switch Lantern
Antique Adlake Non Sweating Railroad Lamp Light Switch Lantern
$150.00
Antique Brass Train Railroad Plaque-Flush Toilet When Train Is Standing Station
Antique Brass Train Railroad Plaque-Flush Toilet When Train Is Standing Station
$45.00
RARE Antique 1920's Southern Signal Co. Cast Iron Railroad Control Box RARE !!!!
RARE Antique 1920's Southern Signal Co. Cast Iron Railroad Control Box RARE !!!!
$150.00
Obsolete Heart Shape Cast Railroad Switch Lock Vintage Antique Railway Original
Obsolete Heart Shape Cast Railroad Switch Lock Vintage Antique Railway Original
$59.99
antique BRASS railroad trolleycar mechanical counter works perfect steampunk USA
antique BRASS railroad trolleycar mechanical counter works perfect steampunk USA
$33.99
CMStP&P OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILWAY
CMStP&P OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILWAY
$44.99
Antique Blue Railroad Switch Lens Corning 4 1/2 Inch Diameter  NICE!
Antique Blue Railroad Switch Lens Corning 4 1/2 Inch Diameter NICE!
$16.00
Antique N & W Norfolk Western RR Steel Railroad torch Lamp Oil Wick Marked HEAVY
Antique N & W Norfolk Western RR Steel Railroad torch Lamp Oil Wick Marked HEAVY
$49.99
Antique Boiler Steam Engine Railroad Brass Whistle
Antique Boiler Steam Engine Railroad Brass Whistle
$40.00
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 Southern Pacific Railroad Padlock
Antique Southern Pacific Railroad Padlock
$65.00
ANTIQUE BURLINGTON SPECIAL RAILROAD POCKET WATCH-19 J RARE
ANTIQUE BURLINGTON SPECIAL RAILROAD POCKET WATCH-19 J RARE
$210.00
10 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5
10 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5" LOT OF 10
$5.84
Antique German railroad cuckoo clock for restoration
Antique German railroad cuckoo clock for restoration
$99.00
Collectible Antique Railroad Key 5 Pc Set with Drawstring Bag metal
Collectible Antique Railroad Key 5 Pc Set with Drawstring Bag metal
$14.99
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
$59.00
ANTIQUE BRASS TRAIN RAILROAD TAG FIRST ASSITANT ENGINEER NICE
ANTIQUE BRASS TRAIN RAILROAD TAG FIRST ASSITANT ENGINEER NICE
$6.99
Pennsylvania Railroad PRR Lot of Collectibles & Antiques
Pennsylvania Railroad PRR Lot of Collectibles & Antiques
$46.00
Antique RAILROAD Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
Antique RAILROAD Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
$9.99
Old New York Central Railroad Broad Hatchet Primitive Antique Log Hewing Tool
Old New York Central Railroad Broad Hatchet Primitive Antique Log Hewing Tool
$11.99
CAST BRASS HEART SHAPE Railroad Lock Vintage Antique Railway Original Train
CAST BRASS HEART SHAPE Railroad Lock Vintage Antique Railway Original Train
$44.99
OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILWAY OREGON OKLAHOMA ?
OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE ORIGINAL RAILWAY OREGON OKLAHOMA ?
$69.99
Nice Hamilton Ball  1926 999P 21jewels Antique Railroad Pocket Watch
Nice Hamilton Ball 1926 999P 21jewels Antique Railroad Pocket Watch
$300.00
ANTIQUE REES RAILROAD JACK
ANTIQUE REES RAILROAD JACK
$75.00
Antique Vermont Railroad Postcard ~ BOSTON & MAINE TRAIN STATION ~ Bradford VT
Antique Vermont Railroad Postcard ~ BOSTON & MAINE TRAIN STATION ~ Bradford VT
$9.95
DENVER UNION STOCKYARD RAILWAY OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE
DENVER UNION STOCKYARD RAILWAY OBSOLETE RAILROAD TRAIN LOCK VINTAGE ANTIQUE
$499.99
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"
$59.99
RAILROAD OIL CAN Long Neck 19
RAILROAD OIL CAN Long Neck 19" Control Valve Antique Brass MAPLE CITY IL
$24.99
Antique Railroad Dated Nail Lot of 100+, 30s, 40s, Various Sizes
Antique Railroad Dated Nail Lot of 100+, 30s, 40s, Various Sizes
$49.99
Antique Pocket Watch Aristocratic Railroad Special
Antique Pocket Watch Aristocratic Railroad Special
$25.00
Antique HANDLAN Railroad Lantern PRR St. Louis USA - Pennsylvania Railroad
Antique HANDLAN Railroad Lantern PRR St. Louis USA - Pennsylvania Railroad
$63.75
25 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5
25 Vintage Railroad Spikes Antique Blacksmith Train Track RR 6.5" LOT OF 25
$23.00


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.