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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 Adlake Railroad Lantern Lamp Cast Iron RARE
Vintage Antique Adlake Railroad Lantern Lamp Cast Iron RARE
$249.99
VINTAGE ANTIQUE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP NO 2155 INCOMPLETE FOR PARTS ONLY
VINTAGE ANTIQUE OXWELD RAILROAD LAMP NO 2155 INCOMPLETE FOR PARTS ONLY
$14.99
Antique Railroad Inspector Group Photograph (Railroad?)
Antique Railroad Inspector Group Photograph (Railroad?)
$30.00
4 Antique/Vintage/Obsolete Railroad Type Brass Keys- stamped with ID
4 Antique/Vintage/Obsolete Railroad Type Brass Keys- stamped with ID
$40.00
Antique  R.R. Lantern Red Glass Globe Railroad old kerosene oil lamp  CABOOSE
Antique R.R. Lantern Red Glass Globe Railroad old kerosene oil lamp CABOOSE
$99.00
ANTIQUE DRESSEL 3 LIGHT HAND HEL RAILROAD LOCOMOTIVE SWITCH SIGNAL LANTERN
ANTIQUE DRESSEL 3 LIGHT HAND HEL RAILROAD LOCOMOTIVE SWITCH SIGNAL LANTERN
$295.00
Antique Black Dietz Railroad Lantern Monarch
Antique Black Dietz Railroad Lantern Monarch
$29.99
VINTAGE ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN ETCHED RR 1925 EMBOSSED GLOBE
VINTAGE ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN ETCHED RR 1925 EMBOSSED GLOBE
$65.00
Antique Obsolete PITTSBURG CINCINNATI CHICAGO ST LOUIS RAILROAD LANTERN KEY
Antique Obsolete PITTSBURG CINCINNATI CHICAGO ST LOUIS RAILROAD LANTERN KEY
$74.36
5 Antique/Vintage/Obsolete Railroad Type Brass Keys- stamped with ID
5 Antique/Vintage/Obsolete Railroad Type Brass Keys- stamped with ID
$50.00
Antique ICRR Railroad Metal Kerosene/Water Can Tole-Folk Art Hand Painted
Antique ICRR Railroad Metal Kerosene/Water Can Tole-Folk Art Hand Painted
$11.50
ANTIQUE DIETZ  TRAFFIC GARD-RAILROAD LANTERN # 40
ANTIQUE DIETZ TRAFFIC GARD-RAILROAD LANTERN # 40
$65.00
Antique  RAYO RAILROAD TRAIN LANTERN   No. 39WB
Antique RAYO RAILROAD TRAIN LANTERN No. 39WB
$29.76
Railroad Train Wax Candle Lanterns NYCS Pyrex Glass Antique SET of 4
Railroad Train Wax Candle Lanterns NYCS Pyrex Glass Antique SET of 4
$99.00
Antique Dressel Switch Lamp Railroad Lantern Arlington N.J.
Antique Dressel Switch Lamp Railroad Lantern Arlington N.J.
$171.00
Antique Rail Road Union Pacific Railroad Cuspidore Spitoon Tobacco Bar Tavern
Antique Rail Road Union Pacific Railroad Cuspidore Spitoon Tobacco Bar Tavern
$19.95
Antique 1909 DIETZ  Protector Trackwalker - Railroad Inspector Lantern - INTACT
Antique 1909 DIETZ Protector Trackwalker - Railroad Inspector Lantern - INTACT
$165.00
Rare ETCHED GLASS Logo Antique Union Switch & Signal Co Railroad Vane Line Relay
Rare ETCHED GLASS Logo Antique Union Switch & Signal Co Railroad Vane Line Relay
$395.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Switch Light Lamp
Antique Vintage Railroad Switch Light Lamp
$125.00
PAIR VTG BRASS PULLMAN RAILROAD RACKS ANTIQUE LUGGAGE HOLLYWOOD REGENCY WALL
PAIR VTG BRASS PULLMAN RAILROAD RACKS ANTIQUE LUGGAGE HOLLYWOOD REGENCY WALL
$300.00
6 Antique/Vintage/Obsolete Railroad Type Brass Keys- stamped with ID
6 Antique/Vintage/Obsolete Railroad Type Brass Keys- stamped with ID
$60.00
Antique Brass CM & St.P Signal Railroad *BROKEN HASP* Slaymaker Padlock
Antique Brass CM & St.P Signal Railroad *BROKEN HASP* Slaymaker Padlock
$19.99
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Signal Lamp
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Signal Lamp
$109.99
Antique
Antique "Adams" and Westlake Chicago Oregon Short Line Railroad Lantern
$175.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Water / Oil Can Large
Antique Vintage Railroad Water / Oil Can Large
$37.25
Antique ERIE RAILROAD RR Eagle Oil Oiling Can Train Mechanic Tool
Antique ERIE RAILROAD RR Eagle Oil Oiling Can Train Mechanic Tool
$79.99
Antique Railroad Lantern Boston Gray
Antique Railroad Lantern Boston Gray
$90.00
ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN LAMP LIGHT GLOBE PART NEW OLD STOCK
ANTIQUE ADLAKE RAILROAD LANTERN LAMP LIGHT GLOBE PART NEW OLD STOCK
$25.00
Antique ADLAKE NonSweating Lamp Railroad Switch Marker Electrified Orig Lens SP
Antique ADLAKE NonSweating Lamp Railroad Switch Marker Electrified Orig Lens SP
$299.95
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
Antique Railroad Kerosene Lantern Switch Light RR Train
$116.99
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN WITH CLEAR GLASS GLOBE DRESSELL ARLINGTON N.J.
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN WITH CLEAR GLASS GLOBE DRESSELL ARLINGTON N.J.
$149.99
Antique Train Railroad Lantern Globe, Marked New York Central, (for Dietz No 6)
Antique Train Railroad Lantern Globe, Marked New York Central, (for Dietz No 6)
$49.99
Antique Dressel Railroad Kerosene Lantern Arlington, N.J. Pennsylvania Railroad
Antique Dressel Railroad Kerosene Lantern Arlington, N.J. Pennsylvania Railroad
$86.00
Antique Dietz New Haven Railroad Lantern Lamp NHRR !!
Antique Dietz New Haven Railroad Lantern Lamp NHRR !!
$69.95
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Eagle 400
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Eagle 400
$37.25
ANTIQUE GM&O RR DRESSEL ARLINGTON NJ RAILROAD LAMP, UNUSED CONDITION
ANTIQUE GM&O RR DRESSEL ARLINGTON NJ RAILROAD LAMP, UNUSED CONDITION
$65.00
Antique Dietz No39 Kerosene Railroad Lantern / Lamp Vulcan City
Antique Dietz No39 Kerosene Railroad Lantern / Lamp Vulcan City
$50.00
Antique B&LE Railroad lantern
Antique B&LE Railroad lantern
$100.00
Dietz Highway Torch Flare with Wick Vintage Antique Made in USA Railroad vintage
Dietz Highway Torch Flare with Wick Vintage Antique Made in USA Railroad vintage
$39.99
VINTAGE ANTIQUE DRESSEL ARLINGTON NJ RR RAILROAD LANTERN OLD GLASS GLOBE LAMP
VINTAGE ANTIQUE DRESSEL ARLINGTON NJ RR RAILROAD LANTERN OLD GLASS GLOBE LAMP
$90.00
Vintage Dietz Highway Torch Flare with Wick Vintage Antique Made in USA Railroad
Vintage Dietz Highway Torch Flare with Wick Vintage Antique Made in USA Railroad
$39.99
Antique Brass Railroad Train Locomotive Brake Handle Lever - Stamped
Antique Brass Railroad Train Locomotive Brake Handle Lever - Stamped
$80.00
ANTIQUE B.& M. RAILROAD 1-GALLON EAGLE OIL CAN
ANTIQUE B.& M. RAILROAD 1-GALLON EAGLE OIL CAN
$49.95
FOUR (4) ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERNS AND THREE (3) EXTRA GLOBES
FOUR (4) ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERNS AND THREE (3) EXTRA GLOBES
$125.00
Antique Dietz New York Central Railroad Lantern Lamp NY LINES
Antique Dietz New York Central Railroad Lantern Lamp NY LINES
$59.95
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Urbana OH
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can Oiler Urbana OH
$37.25
antique New York Central Railroad Lantern w/ clear lens
antique New York Central Railroad Lantern w/ clear lens
$65.00
 Vintage/Antique Heavy PATHE Railroad Train Brake Shoe
Vintage/Antique Heavy PATHE Railroad Train Brake Shoe
$25.00
RARE ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN ADLAKE NON 4 WAY SIGNAL w/ Dressel Karosene Torch
RARE ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN ADLAKE NON 4 WAY SIGNAL w/ Dressel Karosene Torch
$114.11
Antique Pocket Railroad Emergency Candle enclosure Lamp  Lantern Maw London
Antique Pocket Railroad Emergency Candle enclosure Lamp Lantern Maw London
$27.56


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.