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Railroadiana and Collectables

Railways have a long history in Australia, with the railroads often being the only things that could tie far-flung settlements together. It's no surprise that railroadiana has remained a popular form of collectable even after a century or more. There are just so many things you can collect, from books and signs to hardware from locomotives. It's your own personal train into history.

What to Look For

The first thing to look for when collecting antique railway collectables is whether the piece has any markings. From tickets to china each railroad company often commissioned its own designs. Collectors can either look for items from a group of railroads or for a set of items from their favourite railroad. The other factor to consider is the key to all collectables: condition. Everyone wants items in as good a condition as humanly possible.

Hardware

The pull of collectable railroad hardware can be hard to resist. From crossing signs to signalling instruments, every piece gives you a hands-on connection to the past. Signs make great decor accents, while pieces like oil cans and instruments are the perfect conversation pieces.

Tickets to the Past

One way to start a collection is with collectable railroad tickets. Small in size, you can easily organise them into albums for your favourite line or route. Each coloured piece of card is a trip into the past, a direct connection into the daily life of ordinary Australians of a bygone era. Even if you later branch out into other directions, tickets are always a great way to draw others into the hobby.

Other Collectables

Books and photographs can help build an image of the past, putting your prized collectables into context. Railway china is both decorative, and can even be functional for special occasions. Timetables and rulebooks let you see how the railroad worked on a daily basis. They give you an eye into the way things were meant to be.

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