For many collectors, going to railroadiana shows is one of the most
enjoyable aspects of the hobby. Shows provide a chance to see and buy
a lot of stuff in one place as well as the opportunity to meet and socialize
with other collectors. In fact, for those just beginning to collect,
there is no better way to learn about railroadiana. This especially
applies to prices and getting a "feel" for the market. There
may be other ways to acquire items for a collection -- flea markets,
antique shows, and the increasingly popular internet auctions, for example
-- but railroadiana shows provide a more knowledgeable group of sellers
and the opportunity to acquire "word of mouth" knowledge from
There are a number of railroadiana shows across the country. Some, such as the Gaithersburg, Maryland show held every
November and the St. Charles, Illinois show held every June, are truly
national events that draw attendees from all over the country and that
are exclusively limited to railroad memorabilia. Other shows are more
regional in nature and usually include all types of collectibles, including
items of interest to model railroaders and toy train collectors. Though
smaller, regional shows can offer great opportunities for finding railroadiana.
They tend to emphasize items from railroads that operated in that part
of the country and are more likely to have a wide range of professional
dealers and nonprofessional hobbyists who are just "thinning" things
from their collections.
Sorry, but for the time being at least, we have stopped publishing a calendar of railroadiana shows due to the retirement of our calendar guy. We may restart this in the future.