Illinois Central Railroad Memorabilia Value Guide
The Illinois Central Railroad started operations in 1851 and stopped service in 1972 for a total period of operations of 121 years.
Since Illinois Central Railroad began operations before 1860, it was operating at a very early time as a US Railroad. Almost any railroad antique from this early period will have significant value to collectors such as passes, timetables, documents, lanterns, and other railroadiana which wouldn't have much value if it were from a later period. Antiques from this period can be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the condition, provenance and rarity of the specific item.
Illinois Central Railroad 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.
Only the largest railroads like the Illinois Central Railroad operated in over 10 states, these are the most famous and well known lines that served the US market and they ran famous routes and had iconic locomotive designs in many cases. Items from these lines can range from very common for promotional items that were given away to the average passenger to exceedingly rare items like a Number Plate off of a famous locomotive. Railroads like Illinois Central Railroad have a strong group of collectors interested in good items, especially in areas where the line ran originally, but with the internet folks from all over have also become more any more able to find items from railroads that aren't near them, this has driven up values on the most desirable items and made it easier to find common items which are even easier and cheaper to obtain than ever before.
Illinois Central Railroad Operated Routes in the Following States: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin