Thursday, October 1, 2020

Topps Rails and Sails Update

Time for an update on my new favorite train related set. In addition to the first four cards I posted recently, I was lucky enough to win another lot from eBay with 13 new cards for my set. There were 16 total, but the last three I already had. Even with the duplicates, I couldn't pass on such a great deal for cads for this many cards from a set like this. 

We'll get thing started with card #1 featuring Locomotive 999 from the New York Central Railroad. This one is the same locomotive featured on the reprinted version from the Topps 75th anniversary set that I posted recently. This one is in great shape considering its age.

Up next we have card #70 featuring an electric locomotive from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. This one is another great example of the excellent card backs these have. I never knew a lot of the facts on the backs of the cards, like in this case how these trains ran on two different types of power depending on which tracks they were on.

Here is another one for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad that happens to be one of my favorite cards in the set. I've always been more into diesel locomotives and since this set is about the history of railroads leading into the 1950's, they are not as common as in more recent sets.

Up next we have card #33 in the set featuring a 2-8-0 Consolidation type steam locomotive from the Lehigh Valley Railroad. I love the industrial background artwork on this one.

This next one is my first card featuring some rolling stock instead of a locomotive. I really like that the included some cards like this to show off other parts of the railroads. This card featuring a three-dome tank car is #13 in the set.

Card #40 features an experimental locomotive nicknamed Holman's Absurdity. Definitely a different looking steam engine. The odd wheel configuration is something I had never seen before looking at this card. Here is a link to some more information about this loco-motive.

The next one takes us all the way back to Civil War times. Card #56 features a locomotive that was part of some wartime shenanigans that involved Union soldiers sneaking into Confederate territory and stealing it. The best part is their plan failed because they ran out of fuel and water. I love that I keep learning new stuff from this set.

Card #8 features another electric locomotive. These were built by the General Electric company and the American Locomotive works and operated on 3000 volts of electricity.

Back to some more rolling stock with card #10 featuring a ballast dump car. This one was built by the Clark Car Company in 1924 and has a capacity of 100,000 pounds.

Card #62 features something a little bit different with the McKeen Motor Car. I never even knew what these things were before learning about them from this card.

Up next we have card #44 featuring another odd looking locomotive: the Muddigger. These were built starting in 1844, so its kind of fitting that it matches the card number.

Getting back to more rolling stock we have card #11 featuring a stock car for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. I used to have a bunch of cars like these on my model train layout as a kid.

Bringing up the rear of this post is the caboose of course. Here we have card #9 featuring a steel caboose from the Clinchfield railroad that was built way back in 1942.

I have to say I am really enjoying my first vintage set project. These cards are awesome and knowing they are 65 years old makes them that much cooler. They've all been in relatively nice condition too, which is surprising considering I've haven't paid a ton for them yet.

I still have a ways to go before I get anywhere close to full set, but that's ok as this is more of a fun side project that gives me something to search for between other PC pickups.

Rails and Sails Set Progress:  17/130 = 13.1%
Cumulative Cost (including shipping): $24.10
Average Cost per Card: $1.42


  1. Beautiful cards. I enjoyed reading all of the train questions and answers on the back... with the awesome illustrations.

  2. These are spectacular Paul. Really enjoyed going back and reading up on all of your trains posts. And thank you for scanning the backs of the cards. Fun to immerse one's self in.

    That Locomotive "999" card looks sharp - and the fact that it popped up in the 75th Anniversary set.....WITH PARALLELS.....awesome.

    I am finding that I really enjoy seeing collectors who are chasing cards that are bit off the beaten path. Unique collections are so much fun to enjoy as a spectator.

    Keep having fun with it.