Great Northern Railway Memorabilia Value Guide
The Great Northern Railway started operations in 1889 and stopped service in 1970 for a total period of operations of 81 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. Great Northern 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.
Great Northern 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.
Railroads that ran service to as many states as Great Northern Railway are fairly rare because it requires a large railroad to cover ground in 8 different states. Since Great Northern Railway was so large, most items from it will tend to be more common than items from smaller lines. However, large railroads also touched the lives of many more people and were much more well known so while items are more common, there is also a larger demand for them. Value for items from a line like Great Northern Railway can be in a huge range from a couple dollars for something small like a pinback or deck of cards, to thousands for a builder's plate off a famous locomotive or hundreds for a hard to find lantern.
Great Northern Railway Operated Routes in the Following States: Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin