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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 CI&S Ry LAMP CHIMNEY Railroad Lantern Glass Globe noRes
Antique CI&S Ry LAMP CHIMNEY Railroad Lantern Glass Globe noRes
$35.00
ANTIQUE RAILROAD CABOOSE LAMP CANDLE BRASS ADAMS & WESTLAKE CHICAGO
ANTIQUE RAILROAD CABOOSE LAMP CANDLE BRASS ADAMS & WESTLAKE CHICAGO
$85.00
Antique Vintage Old Rare Railroad Train Lantern Lanterns Light Lights Lamp Lamps
Antique Vintage Old Rare Railroad Train Lantern Lanterns Light Lights Lamp Lamps
$59.99
Dietz Acme Inspector Lamp Railroad Lantern Antique Vintage
Dietz Acme Inspector Lamp Railroad Lantern Antique Vintage
$100.00
Antique DIETZ VESTA RR Railroad Lantern NY New York Lines Embossed Globe NICE!
Antique DIETZ VESTA RR Railroad Lantern NY New York Lines Embossed Globe NICE!
$44.99
antique railroad lantern
antique railroad lantern
$175.00
Antique Cast Iron Desk Paperweight PRR Pennsylvania Railroad Train
Antique Cast Iron Desk Paperweight PRR Pennsylvania Railroad Train
$65.00
ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN
ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN
$59.95
antique PRR PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD EMBLEM  red globed oil lantern
antique PRR PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD EMBLEM red globed oil lantern
$135.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Oiler Urbana OH
Antique Vintage Railroad Oiler Urbana OH
$35.00
VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILROAD STEAM LOCOMOTIVE CAB DASHBOARD DASH BOARD GAUGE LANTERN
VINTAGE ANTIQUE RAILROAD STEAM LOCOMOTIVE CAB DASHBOARD DASH BOARD GAUGE LANTERN
$499.00
Vintage Antique Arlington, NJ Dressel Erie Railroad Lantern
Vintage Antique Arlington, NJ Dressel Erie Railroad Lantern
$63.99
Antique Adams & Westlake Co. Kerosene Oil Railroad Switch Lantern
Antique Adams & Westlake Co. Kerosene Oil Railroad Switch Lantern
$50.00
ANTIQUE DIETZ VESTA NYCS RED GLOBE RAILROAD LANTERN
ANTIQUE DIETZ VESTA NYCS RED GLOBE RAILROAD LANTERN
$79.95
Wonderful Antique California Central Pacific Railroad CPRR Brass Bell
Wonderful Antique California Central Pacific Railroad CPRR Brass Bell
$25.00
Antique Old Metal Black Buckeye Glass Bell Bottom Railroad Train Lantern Lamp
Antique Old Metal Black Buckeye Glass Bell Bottom Railroad Train Lantern Lamp
$123.49
ANTIQUE MINE MINING HAULAGE Railroad Locomotive Catalog
ANTIQUE MINE MINING HAULAGE Railroad Locomotive Catalog
$17.95
VINTAGE ANTIQUE DRESSEL ARLINGTON NJ RR RAILROAD LANTERN OLD GLASS GLOBE LAMP
VINTAGE ANTIQUE DRESSEL ARLINGTON NJ RR RAILROAD LANTERN OLD GLASS GLOBE LAMP
$65.00
Vintage Antique Red HANDLAN St. Luis Railroad Lantern, Clear Globe
Vintage Antique Red HANDLAN St. Luis Railroad Lantern, Clear Globe
$46.99
Antique Handlan Saint Louis Railroad Lantern
Antique Handlan Saint Louis Railroad Lantern
$185.00
Antique D.L. & W Railroad Lantern
Antique D.L. & W Railroad Lantern
$75.00
ANTIQUE-VTG 6 1/2
ANTIQUE-VTG 6 1/2" GREEN FLAT GLASS SIGNAL LIGHT RAILROAD SEMAPHORE LENS COVER
$24.95
Antique Adams Westlake Chicago Railroad Lamp Font For Marker Switch Lamp Adlake
Antique Adams Westlake Chicago Railroad Lamp Font For Marker Switch Lamp Adlake
$150.00
Antique b&o railroad locomotive train emblem
Antique b&o railroad locomotive train emblem
$1,200.00
Antique Adlake Non Sweating Lantern Railroad Signal Lamp / Oil Lantern (V4334)
Antique Adlake Non Sweating Lantern Railroad Signal Lamp / Oil Lantern (V4334)
$119.99
Antique RAILROAD Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
Antique RAILROAD Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
$6.99
Antique Railroad Baggage Cart Wagon Metal Wheel w/ Oil Fittings yard decor
Antique Railroad Baggage Cart Wagon Metal Wheel w/ Oil Fittings yard decor
$337.50
Antique/Vtg ADLAKE Chicago NON-SWEATING Lamp C&N.W.R.R. RAILROAD Light LANTERN
Antique/Vtg ADLAKE Chicago NON-SWEATING Lamp C&N.W.R.R. RAILROAD Light LANTERN
$249.95
Antique Railroad Driving Iron Lamp Rare Unusual Design Lantern
Antique Railroad Driving Iron Lamp Rare Unusual Design Lantern
$99.00
Antique Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
Antique Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
$10.99
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN DIETZ ACME INSPECTOR LAMP WITH REFLECTOR   ESTATE FOUND
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN DIETZ ACME INSPECTOR LAMP WITH REFLECTOR ESTATE FOUND
$150.00
1916 Antique Obsolete P.R.R Pennsylvania Brass Railroad Lock 1916 Frame
1916 Antique Obsolete P.R.R Pennsylvania Brass Railroad Lock 1916 Frame
$90.00
MODEL A CARBIDE Oxweld Antique RAILROAD LAMP
MODEL A CARBIDE Oxweld Antique RAILROAD LAMP
$35.00
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
$116.99
DIETZ VESTA Rusty Old Railroad Style Lantern clear globe vintage antique Pat '07
DIETZ VESTA Rusty Old Railroad Style Lantern clear globe vintage antique Pat '07
$37.99
RARE ANTIQUE SAN DIEGO & ARIZONA EASTERN RAILROAD LOCK  OBSOLETE No Key
RARE ANTIQUE SAN DIEGO & ARIZONA EASTERN RAILROAD LOCK OBSOLETE No Key
$125.00
4
4" Brass oil lamp Holder for RailRoad Dining Car - vintage wall mount / antique
$58.00
Vintage Antique Dietz Hi-Lo Fitzall Red Globe Lens Barn Railroad Lantern Lamp
Vintage Antique Dietz Hi-Lo Fitzall Red Globe Lens Barn Railroad Lantern Lamp
$69.99
Antique Vintage Metal Oil Fuel Torch Can Torch Railroad
Antique Vintage Metal Oil Fuel Torch Can Torch Railroad
$21.68
Antique Oxweld Railroad Lamp Model A Union Carbide Lantern
Antique Oxweld Railroad Lamp Model A Union Carbide Lantern
$64.95
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: ERIE RAILROAD FS (Franklin Square) Ohio
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: ERIE RAILROAD FS (Franklin Square) Ohio
$23.95
Antique Railroad caboose Lantern LVRR Leigh Valley Railroad
Antique Railroad caboose Lantern LVRR Leigh Valley Railroad
$249.99
Rare Antique 1880 Fire Proof Railroad Strong Lock Box Safe with Key Signed
Rare Antique 1880 Fire Proof Railroad Strong Lock Box Safe with Key Signed
$174.99
ANTIQUE/VINTAGE RAILROAD MISSOURI PACIFIC LINES SMOKER STAND/ASHTRAY MOPAC NICE
ANTIQUE/VINTAGE RAILROAD MISSOURI PACIFIC LINES SMOKER STAND/ASHTRAY MOPAC NICE
$1,050.00
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 Crouse-Hinds Co.Train/Railroad Light/ Industrial Spotlight - Nautical
Antique Crouse-Hinds Co.Train/Railroad Light/ Industrial Spotlight - Nautical
$129.99
Vintage Antique Adlake Kero RED RAILROAD LANTERN GLOBE CNX Embossed Signal
Vintage Antique Adlake Kero RED RAILROAD LANTERN GLOBE CNX Embossed Signal
$39.99
ANTIQUE ORIGINAL CPR RAILROAD LANTERN TRAIN Lamp w/ Wooden Hand Grip
ANTIQUE ORIGINAL CPR RAILROAD LANTERN TRAIN Lamp w/ Wooden Hand Grip
$165.00
Vintage Antique 1918 10K gold ORT order of railroad Telegraph 25 year award
Vintage Antique 1918 10K gold ORT order of railroad Telegraph 25 year award
$75.00
Antique Kerosene Oil Railroad / Barn Lantern Burner Dietz ? Old Vintage Parts
Antique Kerosene Oil Railroad / Barn Lantern Burner Dietz ? Old Vintage Parts
$5.99


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.