Des Moines Western Railway Memorabilia Value Guide
The Des Moines Western Railway started operations in 1871 and stopped service in 1974 for a total period of operations of 103 years.
After the Civil War railroads exploded in the US with hundreds of lines starting service all over the country. This was the the age of steam locomotives and rail travel was still a luxury. Des Moines Western Railway items from this time period can be very valuable and items of most types that predate 1900 will be valuable if they are in good condition. Many collectors are looking for antique railroadiana that dates before 1900 so there is a strong market for anyone looking to sell.
Des Moines Western Railway operated after 1940 which means that many of the most common items you might find will not be especially valuable, these include items like timetables, pinbacks, menus, and other promotional items given out by the railroad. These items tend to be quite common on the market today and typically will be worth only a couple dollars. If a railroad antique is dated 1940 or later, chances are that unless it is a very unique item, it will not be worth much if you want to sell.
Des Moines Western Railway only operated in 1 state which is indicative of smaller lines, or in some cases lines in larger states. Many one state railroads are short line railroads that didn't have large areas of coverage or large promotional budgets so items from them are likely to be somewhat rare and could be worth more if the railroad didn't exist for long or if it didn't produce many collectible items.
Des Moines Western Railway Operated Routes in the Following States: Iowa