Fake Conrail Railroad Keys

In 2020-2021 a flurry of "fake Conrail keys" began showing up in the Northeastern US. Apparently when Penn Central (PC) came into being, numerous keys that were ordered were never railroad marked. Some were maker-marked ADLAKE, later ones PORTUGAL, and many were not marked at all. It seems that unscrupulous people got hold of many of the non-RR marked keys and stamped them with desirable railroad reporting marks and initials so that they would sell at significantly higher prices. It's important to realize that the PRR had used this style of key before the Penn Central emerged. PRR and related markings (division keys, for example) are authentic and legitimate and often interchange with the later PC and Conrail locksets, which retained the same key cut as the earlier PRR.

As mentioned, the fake keys seem to have originated in former Conrail/Penn Central territory - principally the Northeast, but they have spread across the country. They're rather easy to recognize because of their size and shape, but many new collectors are still fooled. Below is a compilation of some of the known fakes, kindly compiled by Kent Sprecher. Click on the image for a larger version.

Thanks to KS and JS for this information!