Friday, September 1, 2017

All Aboard: Railroad Collector Cards Series #1

It's not every day that I get to combine my two main hobbies into one blog post, but thanks to my latest eBay purchase of a set of railroad collector cards from the now defunct All Aboard Collector cards company, I can do that here today.  

This is a set of 46 cards released in 1991 that focuses on railroads from the Great Lakes region.  It is limited to just 10,000 total sets and I was lucky enough to get two sealed sets for about $5 including shipping. I'm keeping one sealed and I opened the other so I could check out all of the awesome train photos from the past.


The cards are all horizontal and feature a pretty simple design, which is nice because it keeps the focus on the actual photographs of the trains. The card stock they are printed on is slightly thinner and flimsier than most of my hockey cards. They're also actually not exactly 2.5" x 3.5" overall, they come in just a tiny bit longer and narrower.

The first card I am going to show depicts my favorite railroad, the Detroit & Mackinac, which was a short line based in north eastern Michigan. They were sold off in 1992 and became a different railroad, so it's neat to have a card that shows them in their prime.


The card backs also pretty simple, but they do have a pretty good write up about the photo on the front. What's neat about the main locomotive in this picture, No. 469, is that I actually have a picture of myself standing on the front of it when I was about five years old.


Since all of the backs are the same, I thought I would share some of the cards that stood out to me when sorting through the 46 card set. This one features two GP40-2's in the rather colorful Chessie System paint scheme.


The next one features two F7A's and a GP9 in the rather bland Penn Central paint scheme. This one stood out because of the dark engines against the bright blue sky, which make for a nice photo. This was taken in Jackson, MI back in May of 1976.


Here's another nice looking photo, this time featuring Amtrak's "Empire Builder" train passing through Wisconsin back in May of 1990. The locomotives shown leading this train are both F40PH's in Amtrak's phase III paint scheme.


Up next is a cool shot of DeKalb County Co-Op's Baldwin switcher locomotive shown in Waterloo, Indiana back in July of 1983. What stood out in this picture was the nice green field and flowers shown in the foreground.


This next one stood out because of the railroad crossing sign that takes up the right hand side of the photo. These things are usually white so it was interesting to see one in yellow. The other thing that caught my eye was the orange DT&I paint scheme on the locomotive.


This one is not as flashy, but has a cool scene of several Green Bay & Western locomotives pulling a train through a wooded area. What's nice about this photo is the lack of man-made structures in the background or foreground.


Finally we have this one showing two Soo Line F7A's awaiting their assignment in Manistique, Michigan during August of 1968. These locomotives always stood out to me with their bright red noses and white bodies with bold black lettering.


So there's something you don't see on here every day. What do you guys think? Any other train enthusiasts out there that have seen or already own this set? I think they're great and now I need to get myself a couple copies of the series #2 that was released after this set.

15 comments:

  1. Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

    In your hunting, have you ever come across anything else card related? I would assume that there would be stuff from the 40's or 50's.

    Great post.

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    1. I have seen some other things out there. There is a cool Topps set from 1955 called "Rails and Sails" that has some cool railroad cards.

      https://www.psacard.com/cardfacts/non-sports-cards/1955-topps-rails-sails/28835

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    2. There are some great tobacco cards from the 20's and 30's. Of course, not the same trains as in Paul's set. Cool that you were on that actual train. Where I live now I can literally see freight trains out my kitchen window. The tracks run like four houses down from us.

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    3. Those look very cool as well.

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    4. I wish I could see trains out my window, but my wife would definitely never go for that.

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  2. OK, those are cool. I've never seen them before but will be on the lookout now.

    In 1961 Milton Bradley issued a 40 card set of trains...I have not been able to hunt it down but I have the automotive and steam ship sets. They are post card sized. http://www.tradingcarddb.com/ViewSet.cfm/sid/74402/1961-American-Heritage-Picture-and-History-Cards-Automobiles and http://www.tradingcarddb.com/ViewSet.cfm/sid/74023/1961-American-Heritage-Picture-and-History-Cards-Steamboats. They also did an aircraft set. They aren't too expensive if you can find them, both sets I have cost me around $20 combined, the problem is hunting them down.

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  3. I was big into trains when I was a kid, so I can definitely appreciate these cards... Maybe not enough to track them down myself, but I really enjoyed reading about them.

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    1. I felt the same way when I first saw this set a few years ago, but finally decided to go for it when I saw the great deal on these two sets. The first time I saw this set it was a bit more expensive.

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  4. I've never really been a huge train guy... but I like this movie called Station Agent or maybe it's The Station Agent that is kinda about trains. I don't think it ever received a lot of great reviews, but I watch it every now and then when I need a "chill" movie.

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    1. I've heard of it, but have not seen it myself. I'll have to see if its Netflix one of these days.

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  5. These are totally cool! I've been picking away at 1970s/1980s Japanese train sets, but haven't seen these before. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Not that I know of. I'm just catching up on these comments after not checking anything since Friday.

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