Discontinued Collectibles Guide

Railwayana, Train & Railway Collectibles

Collecting railwayana

Anyone who decides to collect railway memorabilia is faced with the task of deciding what particular items to collect. After all, there is such a bewildering array of collectibles, some large, some small, that no individual could collect everything: Unless, of course, you have unlimited means and indeed unlimited space. Some railway collectables are very large and extremely expensive, so you have to be realistic!

One way to narrow down the focus of your collection is to concentrate on collectibles relating to or originating from, one of the old railway companies or one region of British Railways, later British Rail. Alternatively you could make the challenge greater by specialising in collectables from the railways of another country altogether.

If you stick with the railways of Great Britain you could choose one of the "Big Four" companies, Southern Railway, Great Western, LMS or LNER or, perhaps, a pre-grouping railway like L&SWR, Caledonian etc. From locomotives down to uniform buttons, all those companies had their own individual designs.

Take the LNER as an example. Formed in 1923 it was an amalgamation of the Great Eastern, Great Northern, Great Central, Great North of Scotland, Hull and Barnsley, North British and North Eastern Railways and some others. It existed until nationalisation on 1st January 1948 when it became part of British Railways.

Like all the other three groups formed on 1st January 1923 some of the actual rolling stock is now in private hands, having been bought for preservation and now operate on the many preserved lines around the country. It is one thing to buy and restore a steam locomotive if you have the means. Owning miles of track on which to run it is quite another matter! Hence you find privately owned machines running on heritage railways.

So, staying with the LNER; you or a group of you, might invest in say a D49 Hunt class locomotive or a lovely old varnished teak carriage and have the pleasure of owning it. However, if you want it to be used, the North York Moors or Settle to Carlisle Railways would, no doubt, be glad to help!

If your ambitions are a bit more modest, staff badges, station signboards, loco men’s tea cans, or holiday posters from the period are all well worth collecting. Anything that bears the legend "London and North Eastern Railway, "or simply, "LNER, " is of interest and will probably appreciate in value.

Remember, there were three other companies between 1923 and 1948 as well. Prior to 1923 there were many more so the choice is huge. Why not pick the region where you live or where you grew up and go for collectables relating to the company that served that area?

On each of the pages within this section dedicated to Railwayana collectibles we have included links to live and current online auctions dealing in each theme. In addition, where known, we have added details of collector clubs, forums and websites. We wish you every success in tracking down the missing pieces of your discontinued Railwayana collection and hope you will become a regular visitor to Accumulations. Remember it’s an ever-changing scene so it is always worth a return visit!

If you are interested in a specific type or genre of Railwayana collectible, click on one of the following links:-

HornbyTrains & Railway

Please also check out the Railwayana Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed on this page.

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