A Beginners Guide to Collecting Railwayana

 
 
 

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Railwayana collecting embraces such a diverse field of interest and prices that there should be something to collect for everyone. The top price for a nameplate is 60,000 and you can buy a luggage label for a few pence so there is a collecting area available for all pockets.

Most collectors start with local items items from places they visited on holiday or perhaps loco items from trains spotted in their youth so nostalgia tends to rule the roost.

                              

Railwayana is not cheap but is readily available so starting a collection is not difficult. I would advise that you decide on a theme for a collection and then focus your efforts in that area. I feel that railway enamels form a good starting point as all collections seem to end up with a good selection of enamel signs in them.

Prices range from 50-80 for a 24x18 inch split station sign to 200 plus for a southern railway target, 250+ for a station totem and into the thousands an early company marked sign or a BR enamel with an evocative name.

                                          

The general rule with enamels is the smaller and more displayable they are the more expensive they become and particularly so if they carry a company or place name. Enamel running in boards can be picked up very cheaply as they can be up to 10 foot long but they can look very dramatic if you have the space to display them.

                                                            

The top end of the railwayana market is dominated by locomotive nameplates, with the most expensive being from the era of steam - but modern traction plates are becoming increasingly popular. Brass loco plates can look most spectacular in a collection but can hurt the wallet, with the cheapest being a Hall nameplate from about 7,000 or a Jubilee from about 9,000. The highest price achieved in auction is for the A4 nameplate Golden Fleece which sold recently for 60,000. Other classes can be obtained for anything between these prices with scarcity and the quality of the name deciding the price. There are plenty of nameplates available if you have the cash, so decide what you want and can afford before you splash out as plates are far easier to buy than to sell.

                                                                                                                                                       

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Steam Nameplates click here.

 

 

NAMEPLATES from modern traction locomotives split into two groups the earlier locomotives remembered by the steam brigade and the later ones, many of which are still running. Prices of the earlier nameplates vary from about 20,000 for a Deltic brass plate and 7,000 - 10,000 for an early Western set. Modern plates from locos such as Class 47s go for about 3,000 + and stainless steel reflective plates for around 2,000.

    

A superb set of plates from Class 47 number 47500 that were sold in our September auction for 16,500.

Other loco items are SMOKEBOX NUMBERPLATES priced between 300 for a common GWR tank engine to 3,000+ for a mainline named locomotive.

 

For an introduction to smokebox collecting click here

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Smokeboxes click here.

WORKSPLATES in brass, cast iron and aluminium were carried by most locomotives from the earliest of days and go for anything between 50 to 5,000+.

    

GWR/BR(W) CABSIDE NUMBERPLATES, which are made of cast iron or brass sell at between 500 for a humble workhorse to 15,000+ for a King.

    

For an introduction to cabside collecting click here

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Cabsides click here.

The most affordable loco items are SHEDPLATES which were carried on the smokebox door in BR days to show the home shed and will cost from 30 to 500+.

 

For an introduction to shedplate collecting click here

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Shedplates click here.

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