Since the earliest days of the railways, when keen
travellers kept their tickets, the
fascination with items connected with rail transport has kept alive the market for
The last mainline steam services were withdrawn by British Rail in 1968 and
many people feel intense nostalgia for this romantic form of transport.
Enthusiasts for railway memorabilia will collect anything to do with their subject, including items such as signal posts - that are so large they have to be kept out of doors.
However, not all railwayana is bulky or heavy, and printed material makes a rich collector's field in itself.
Railway tickets have been collected since Victorian times, when they were often kept as souvenirs of a journey.
A durable cardboard ticket was invented in 1838 by Thomas Edmondson, a station-master on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway.
By the end of the century, such tickets - pasteboard rectangles 2/4 in x 1/4 in (5.7cm x 3.1 cm) were used worldwide.
They are known to collectors as Edmondsons, whether or not they were produced by the company he founded.
Other collectable printed material includes timetables, brochures, handbills, official letters and items such as jigsaws and playing cards, which were sometimes given away by the railway companies.
Even mundane pieces of ephemera, such as goods labels and invoices, are sought after. Without doubt, however, the most visually attractive type of printed railway material
is the poster, produced for the railway companies by some of the finest artists and graphic designers in the country.
Antique shops rarely have interesting items, but there are a growing number of specialist shops and auctions.
Pieces are also sold privately through two specialist publications, The Railwayana
Collectors' Newsletter and The Railwayana Journal - On The Line.
Paper ephemera, especially tickets, should he kept in albums and never stuck down. Transparent photo mounts are the best way of holding tickets in place. Do not attempt to clean or restore tickets.