Railroad magazines

Many stock and bond collectors also collect railroad magazines. I informally track Railroad Magazine and Trains Magazine and have included collections of magazine cover with a cutoff date of about 1980. I will be glad to include additional covers in any of my readers would like to contribute scans. Like with stocks and bonds, when I talk about "value," I am talking strictly about potential collector prices. None of these magazines have value beyond values ascribed by collectors,

Typical early cover found on Railroad Magazine
Railroad Magazine and predecessors
Typical 1950s cover found on Trains Magazine
Trains Magazine and Train and Travel Magazine

A word about conditions. It is obvious that the better the condition, the more collectors are likely to pay. Remember that magazines were never intended to last more than a few weeks or months. The majority of railroad magazines I've encountered have condition problems. Except perhaps for pulp true crime magazines from the 1930s, railroad magazines generally have more condition problems than any other types of magazines I've encountered.

Torn and distressed covers are extremely common for Railroad MagazineTrains Magazine can be typified by detached covers. If you own issues in intact conditions, make sure you protect them in poly bags to prevent further deterioration. Among issues less than thirty years old, one accidental mis-handling can decrease potential value to zero.

Tape of any sort decreases value. Tape is nothing more than restoration, no matter how well-intentioned. In other words, tape is meant to fix damage. I am warning about all tapefrom yellowed cellophane tape to well-applied professional quality book tape. Feel free to buy taped issues as space fillers, but remember that they are simply space fillers. When it comes time to sell, professional buyers will pay little if anything for taped magazines unless those issues are extremely scarce.

Don't believe my warning? Then ask yourself, in how many hobbies do collectors willingly pay for damaged collectibles? Glassware? Coins? Stamps? Furniture? Quilts? Guitars? Watches? Insulators? Modern art? Navajo rugs? Chinese vases? Stocks and bonds? (Okay, automobiles, perhaps, but the point with that hobby IS restoration.)