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Union Railroad Union Railroad Union RR Flag

Union Railroad Company

Item: 3-U     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. 1904-21
Forged by the S.R. Slaymaker Co.
Superb serif stamp marks and patina.

History

On July 2, 1894 the Union Railroad came into existence. From 1894-1907, the original URR extended from East Pittsburgh to Hays, a distance of six miles. The Union Railroad was unique given that it was basically a switching railroad and yet its loads were incredibly heavy made up of either; ore, coke, coal, slag or steel. This unique combination in addition to the steep grades around Pittsburgh demanded some special tractive force. In 1898 the largest locomotive of the time was built for the Union Railroad. The engine was a 2-8-0 had more weight on its drivers (208,000 pounds) than any built up to that time. This was locomotive 95 in the U RR. stable and according to the article was built by Pittsburg's Locomotive Works.

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Union Railroad Union Railroad Moviie Western How the West was Won

Union Railroad Company

Item: 4-U     Price: $60.00

Remarks: ca. 1904-21
Forged by the S.R. Slaymaker Co.
Nice serif stamp marks and patina.

History - continued from above

Today the URR is a Class III switching railroad located in Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania. The company is owned by Transtar, Inc., which is itself a subsidiary of USS Corp, more popularly known as United States Steel.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad UP R.R. Flag

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 7-U     New Listing     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Early A&W hex stamp = 1st series.
Superb stamp marks and two-tone patina.
A nice 1!

A subject of interest:

Copper, one of the two main alloy's in brass (the other being zinc), is the predominant alloy in this Union Pacific key. Along with the right conditions, as the copper ages, it bleeds off a greenish hue. You will see this green color (light and dark) on many 1800 and very early 1900 era switch keys. I have more than a few "greenies" listed on my website; here's another example on this page of another UP 1800 era key: Union Pacific Key It would be my guess, that copper was more available than zinc in that era of time. There is an exception, the Keyline foundry still uses this 60/40 (a guess) formula whereas, the older foundries such as Adlake, evolved to a formula of browns (light and dark), which are the colors of brass were accustomed to seeing today. There is one other switch key color, which is "yellow brass." This is basically a copper alloy that comprises about 60-70% copper, 30-40% of zinc, tin, and tiny amounts of lead. There are key examples of yellow brass, where you will sometimes notice a "silver smudge" on the key. This is the tin or zinc, or both, bleeding through the copper. Whichever formula the foundries used, the process is what gives countless railroad switch keys, the great looking patina on them today.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad 1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 8-U     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s-early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and gold patina.
A well preserved beauty!

History

The original company was incorporated on July 1, 1862, under an act of Congress entitled Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. The act was approved by President Abraham Lincoln, and it provided for the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific as a war measure for the preservation of the Union. It was constructed westwardly from Council Bluffs, Iowa to meet the Central Pacific line, which was constructed eastwardly from San Francisco Bay.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad    1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 9-U     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s-early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and dark gold patina.

History - continued from above

The Union Pacific legacy began in 1862 with the original company, called the Union Pacific Rail Road, which was part of the First Transcontinental Railroad project, later known as the "Overland Route".Two more Union Pacific railroads were formed after that, the Union Pacific Railway (the second company) which absorbed the original company in 1880 and the Union Pacific "Railroad" (the third company) which absorbed the Union Pacific Railway in 1897-1898.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad 1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 10-U     Price: $65.00

Remarks: ca. early-mid 1900s
Forged by the Adlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and two-tone gold patina.

History - continued from above

The third incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad which operated from 1897 to 1998 is referred to as Mark I and it makes up the bulk of the Union Pacific history. The third incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad produced the well known Big Boy steam locomotives such as the Union Pacific 4014 and the Union Pacific 4012. Other well known steam locomotives were also produced by the third Union Pacific Railroad such as the Union Pacific 3985, the Union Pacific 3977, and the Union Pacific 844. The third incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad also produced the Union Pacific 6936 diesel locomotive.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad 1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 11-U     New Listing     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900s
Forged by the Adlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and two-tone gold patina.

History - continued from above

The current Union Pacific Railroad, the fourth incarnation, began in 1969 as the Southern Pacific Transportation Company (SP, SPTC or SPTCo), the last incarnation of the Southern Pacific railroad; the Southern Pacific Transportation Company became the fourth incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1998 with the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific merger which included SP's smaller railroads, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway and the SPCSL Corporation. The current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad inherits all operations of the third Union Pacific Railroad. The current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad is referred to as Mark II. All together, a total of four railroads used the "Union Pacific" name; however, all four railroads are commonly grouped as one railroad.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad Big Four handcar crews

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 12-U     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Hex stamp = A&W 1st series.
Superb pocket worn stamp marks and gold patina

History - continued from above

The parent company, Union Pacific Corporation was established in 1969, the same year the current railroad (Mark II) began. Besides the Southern Pacific, the Denver and Rio Grande Western, the St. Louis Southwestern and the SPCSL Corporation, the parent company, Union Pacific Corporation, acquired other western railroads over the years such as the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company, the Western Pacific Railroad and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and all became part of the Union Pacific system, growing the Union Pacific system.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad 1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific    1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 13-U     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. 1904-21
Forged by the S.R. Slaymaker Co.
Superb stamp marks and patina.
Slaymaker rarity!

History - continued from above

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP); both are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the years Union Pacific Corporation has grown by acquiring other railroads, notably the Missouri Pacific, Chicago & North Western, Western Pacific, Missouri-Kansas-Texas, and the Southern Pacific (including the Denver & Rio Grande Western). Union Pacific Corporation's main competitor is the BNSF Railway, the nation's second largest freight railroad, which also primarily services the Continental U.S. west of the Mississippi River. Together, the two railroads have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the U.S.

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad 1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 14-U     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. mid-1900s
Forged by the Adlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and gold patina.

Five roads = UP-Union Pacific | OSL-Oregon Short Line | SJGI-St. Joseph & Grand Island
LASL-Los Angeles & Salt Lake | OWRN-Oregon Washington R.R. & Navigation.

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Union Pacific Road & Bridge Union Pacific Road & Bridge Replica CP's locomotive Jupiter    East meets West    Replica of UP's locomotive UP-119

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 15-U     road & bridge     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s
Slaymaker/Barry forged key.
Great looking R&B UP oldie!

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Union Pacific R&B Union Pacific R&B CP & UP built 19 tunnels combined    Directors of the UP Railroad    Miss Union Pacific Jan Shepard

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 16-U     road & bridge     Price: $120.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s-early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Nice pocket worn stamp marks and gold patina.
No.5 issue-great oldie!

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Union Pacific R&B Union Pacific R&B Traveling photographer for the UP R.R.    Union Pacific Work train

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 17-U     road & bridge     Price: $70.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900s
Forged by the Adlake Co.
Rustic looking with nice stamp marks.

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Union Pacific R&B Union Pacific R&B Lampoon mocks UP    UPY locomotive

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 18-U     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Early A&W hex stamp = 1st series.
Very nice stamp marks and gold patina.

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UP Tool Rack UP Tool Rack Railroad Helltowns

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 19-U     tool rack key     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s-early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Great stamp marks and gold patina.
A nice 1!

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UP Tool Rack UP Tool Rack East meets West

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 20-U     tool rack key     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. mid-1900s
Forged by the Adlake Co.
Attractive copper patina.

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UP Tool Rack UP Tool Rack Union Pacific Railroad locomotive No.924

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 21-U     tool rack key     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s-early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Nice stamp marks and two-tone patina.

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UP Motive Power & Cab Key UP Motive Power & Cab Key Cheyenne Indians

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 22-U     motive power & cab key     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900s.
Superb serif stamp marks and gold patina.
Like new!

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Union Pacific High Rail Union Pacific High Rail UP R.R. Flag

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 23-U        New     High Rail Key     Listing     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900s
Randsvaal forged.
Superb serif stamp marks and gold patina.
HR vehicle operators worked their way up for
the gig and don't part with their keys.
So its rare to see one in circulation.
Purposely not stamped UP!

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Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad 1939 movie Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item: 24-U     Price: $35.00

Remarks: Union Pacific high security steel key.


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United States Steel United States Steel USS R.R. Flag

United States Steel (USS)-Lorain Tubular Operation

Item: 29-U     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. mid-late 1900s
Superb serif stamp marks and copper patina.
A rarity.

History

Lorain Tubular Operations, located approximately 30 miles west of Cleveland, Ohio, manufactures high-quality seamless pipe for customers in the construction and oil and gas exploration and production industries. The facility has an annual production capability of 780,000 net tons, and major product lines include oil country tubing, casing and drill pipe; standard and line pipe; and coupling stock.

U.S. Steel once owned the Northampton & Bath Railroad. The N&B was an 11-kilometer (6.8 mi) short line railroad built in 1904 that served Atlas Cement in Northampton, Pennsylvania, and Keystone Cement in Bath, Pennsylvania. By 1979 cement shipments had dropped off such that the railroad was no longer economically viable and the line was abandoned. A 1.5-kilometer (0.93 mi) section of track was retained to serve Atlas Cement. The remainder of the right-of-way was transformed into the Nor-Bath Trail.

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Union Stockyards & Transfer Co Union Stockyards & Transfer Co Union Stock Yards, Chicago    Union Stock Yards, Chicago    Chicago stockyards

Union Stockyards & Transfer Co Railroad

Item: 32-U     Price: $95.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and patina.
There are about 6 different styles of USSY keys.
As listed here, 3 different types.

History

The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or the Yards, was the meatpacking district in Chicago for more than a century, starting in 1865. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired swampland and turned it to a centralized processing area. By the 1890s, the railroad money behind the Union Stockyards was Vanderbilt money. The Union Stockyards operated in the New City community area for 106 years, helping Chicago become known as "hog butcher for the world" and the center of the American meatpacking industry for decades.

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Union Stockyards & Transfer Co. Union Stockyards & Transfer Co. Chicago stockyards    Chicago stockyards entrance

Union Stockyards & Transfer Co.

Item: 33-U     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and two-tone patina.
Double digit serial #
Same style cut as key below.

History - continued from above

When the Union Stock Yard and Transit Company of Chicago was incorporated in 1865 to consolidate the Chicago stock yards, its powers included the construction of a railroad outside the city limits (then Pershing Road and Western Avenue) to link the stock yards with the railroads entering Chicago south of Roosevelt Road. All nine of these railroads - the Chicago & Alton Railroad, Chicago-Burlington & Quincy Railroad, Chicago & Great Eastern Railway, Chicago & North Western Railway, Chicago & Rock Island Railroad, Illinois Central Railroad, Michigan Central Railroad, Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad, and Pittsburgh-Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway - had previously come to an agreement to finance the new property as a replacement for their individual yards.

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Union Stockyards & Transfer Co. Union Stockyards & Transfer Co. Chicago stockyards    Boys working in sausage plant

Union Stockyards & Transfer Co.

Item: 34-U     New Listing     Price: $175.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s-early 1900s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Very nice pocket worn lettering and carmel patina.
Same style cut as key above.
HM = Hormel?

History - continued from above

Settlement in the area that was to become known as the "Back of the Yards" began in the 1850s before there were any meat packers or stockyards in the area. At this time the area was known as the "Town of Lake." Indeed, the area would continue to be called Town of Lake until 1939. Witness that the newspaper of the area was called the Town of Lake Journal. Only with the founding of the community organization called the "Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council" in 1939 did the neighborhood west and south of the meat packinghouses start being called the "Back of the Yards." It was a name that the residents proudly claimed as their own. In 1939, the Town of Lake Journal officially changed its name to Back of the Yards Journal.

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Union Stockyards & Transfer Co. Union Stockyards & Transfer Co. Wooden livestock car    Steel livestock car    Wooden livestock car

Union Stockyards & Transfer Co.

Item: 35-U     New     Fire Dept.     Listing     Price: $375.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800s
Forged by the Adams & Westlake Co.
Superb stamp marks and two-tone patina.
A very rare key and a beauty!
One of a kind in circulation!

History - continued from above

From the Civil War until the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world. Construction began in June 1865 with an opening on Christmas Day in 1865. The Yards closed at midnight on Friday, July 30, 1971, after several decades of decline during the decentralization of the meatpacking industry. The Union Stock Yard Gate was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 24, 1972, and a National Historic Landmark on May 29, 1981.

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Union Stockyards of Omaha Union Stockyards of Omaha Omaha Stocks Yards    Aerial view of the Omaha Stock Yards

Union Stockyards of (Omaha)

Item: 36-U     Price: $95.00

Remarks: ca. turn of the century.
Superb stamp marks and dark
C = cattle yard?

History

The Union Stockyards of Omaha, Nebraska, were founded in 1883 in South Omaha by the Union Stockyards Company of Omaha. A fierce rival of Chicago's Union Stockyards, the Omaha Union Stockyards were third in the United States for production by 1890. In 1947 they were second to Chicago in the world. Omaha overtook Chicago as the nation's largest livestock market and meat packing industry center in 1955, a title which it held onto until 1971. The 116-year-old institution closed in 1999. The Livestock Exchange Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

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V



Vandalia Railroad Vandalia Railroad Vandalia R.R. Flag

Vandalia Railroad

Item: 4-V     car key     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900s
Bohannan forged?
Nice stamp marks and gold patina.
Vandalia & Pennsy post 1917 merger key.
Key has a Pennsy style bit.

History

The Vandalia Railroad was formed in 1905 by a merger of several lines in Indiana and Illinois including the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad and the St. Louis-Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad which covered a route from Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Louis, Missouri. Another route between Terre Haute, Indiana and Toledo, was created with the inclusion of the Terre Haute & Logansport and Logansport & Toledo branches.

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Vandalia Railroad Vandalia Railroad How the West was Won.

Vandalia Railroad

Item: 5-V     Price: $95.00

Remarks: ca. pre-1927
Forged by the Wilson Bohannan Co.
Nice serif stamp marks and gold patina.
Vandalia & Pennsy post 1917 merger key.

History - continued from above

In 1917 the line was acquired by the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati-Chicago & St. Louis Railroad (the Panhandle) giving the Pennsylvania Railroad a direct route from New York City to St. Louis. In 1968 PRR merged with New York Central Railroad to become Penn Central and in 1976 becoming part of Conrail. Much of the North-South line was abandoned with the Conrail formation but parts of the East-West line survive as part of CSX Transportation.

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Virginian Railroad Virginian Railroad Virginian Railway No.135    VGN R.R. Flag    Virginian Railway No.100

Virginian Railroad

SOLD     Price: 95.00

Remarks: mid-1900s
Superb serif stamp marks and patina.
One of about 3 different styles - all scarce.

History

The Virginian Railway was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia. The VGN was created to transport high quality smokeless bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port at Hampton Roads. The Virginian was considered a folly at the time of construction, as so much capital was spent on making the railroad as flat and straight as possible, "As though the Virginia hills did not exist." In the long run this proved to be a very profitable route as operating costs were low due to the relative lack of grades and little curvature of track. Throughout a profitable 50-year history, VGN continued the Page-Rogers philosophy of "paying up front for the best." It achieved best efficiencies in the mountains, rolling piedmont and flat tidewater terrain. Known for operating some of the largest and best steam, electric, and diesel motive power, it became nicknamed "Richest Little Railroad in the World." Merged into the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1959, a large portion of the former VGN remains in service today.

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Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Virginia Blue Ridge Railway VBR Piney River Shop    VBR engine No.9.

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway

Item: 11-V     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900s
Superb stamp marks and gold patina.

History

The company was incorporated in 1914, and construction was started in 1915. The VBR extended from Tye River Depot in Nelson County, where it interchanged with the Southern Railway, to Massies Mill. The railroad followed the course of the Tye and Piney Rivers for several miles before entering the mountains. It was initially built to haul chestnut for lumber out of the heavily-timbered Piney River area to local mills until World War I. The chestnut blight wiped out much of the timbered areas. However, the railroad later served several quarries in the area where titanium dioxide and aplite were mined. It passed through the communities of Roses Mill, Piney River, Canopy, Lowesville, and Buffalo Mine.

The line was abandoned in 1980. In the early 21st century, part of the roadbed was being developed as a rails-to-trails project, the Blue Ridge Railway Trail.

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Vineland Railroad Vineland Railroad CRRofNJ R.R. Flag

Vineland Railroad

Item: 12-V     Price: 125.00

Remarks: ca. 1879-1917
Forged by the E.T. Fraim Co.
Nice stamp marks and carmel patina.
Absorbed into CNJ in 1917.
New Jersey egg hauler.

History

The Vineland Railroad was chartered in the late 1800s. Because the town of Vineland was known for the high volume of eggs it supplied the country, the railroad was known locally as a chicken and egg railroad. The Vineland Railway started at the end of the NJS at Atsion, crossed the Camden and Atlantic at Winslow Junction, and reached the agricultural town of Vineland in 1870. This company was backed by Charles K. Landis, the founder of Vineland as a somewhat utopian community. The railway was continued onward to Delaware Bay at Bay Side in 1871. The New Jersey Southern's plan now was to reach Baltimore by means of the Vineland Railway, a boat across Delaware Bay, a railroad across the Delmarva Peninsula, and a boat across Chesapeake Bay, according to a statement issued in 1873 over the signature of Jay Gould, President.

Although Vineland, like most of America, was hit hard by the Great Depression, it rebounded after World War II. The town became known as the “Egg Capital of the World,” as chicken farming grew as a local industry. In 1957, the town and surrounding borough incorporated into one 69-square-mile community, making Vineland the largest town (by area) in New Jersey.

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Switch Key Directory Switch Key Directory

Switch Key Directory

American Railway's Switch Key Directory

Price: HC-$25.00 | CD-$35

Whether your just starting out collecting switch key's or you have been a collector for many years, this 44 page switch key directory is a useful tool. Although, it does not list every railroad key there is, the directory has a 3-D diagram for the most common railroad keys in the collectors circle. With a CD, you can copy the directory to your hard drive and view and enlarge the pages on your computer screen. Price does not include shipping fees.

Upon request, I will "three ring" the pages for a book binder.

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D.S. Key & Lock Directory D.S. Key & Lock Directory

Don Stewart's Railroad Switch Keys and Padlocks

Switch Keys and Locks Directory

Price: HC-$65.00 | CD-$55

One of the lesser known railroad directories is Don Stewart's Railroad Switch Keys and Padlocks Directory. The book includes 56 pages of switch key pictures, 12 pages of switch lock pictures, 12 supplemental pages including, 2 Canadian key picture pages and 32 pages of railroad names. It's another handy tool for beginners and even veteran collectors. The book contains 117 pages in all and is a ink jet printed copy of the original book. As noted, the CD copy is less expensive than a hard copy. The reason; printer ink and paper prices. With a CD, you can copy the directory to your hard drive and view and enlarge the pages on your computer screen. Price does not include shipping fees.

Upon request, I will "three ring" the pages for a book binder.

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Dates quoted for keys are approximate dates. Railroad switch keys initials (reporting mark) are assumed to be correct and accurate.
Comments on any railroad initials origin, including (typos), are welcome. Last update 01/11/2023

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