Annual Passes were issued to railroad employees, government officials, clients, or other people the railroads wanted to give special treatment to. These passes authorized the person listed to ride the rails for the year indicated. Annual passes were frequently done with intricate illustration of railroad logos, scenes from famous routes, or other beautiful decoration, frequently in color lithography on cardboard or paper. Some rare annual passes were made of brass, gold or silver with beautiful engraving. The value of an annual pass is based on its condition, material, railroad, route, and often the name of the passenger. If the pass is made out to a famous or important person it can greatly increase the value of the item. Common passes can sell for as little as $20, but rarer engraved metal passes have sold for over $10,000.
Also check out our Complete Railroad Pass Value Guide for more information.