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Front Side: Wabash Railroad Back Side: Wabash Railroad Wabash R.R. Flag

Wabash Railroad

Item: 2-W     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by ROMER & CO.
Attractive double ring barrel. Superb serif lettering and gold patina.

History

The Wabash Railroad's history, like that of many large U.S. railroads, is one of mergers, consolidations, and leases, though it seems to have gone through more reorganizations and name changes than most railroads its size. The oldest part of the Wabash was the Northern Cross Railroad, chartered in 1837 to run from Quincy, Illinois, east to the Indiana state line. The line, completed in 1858, required a ferry crossing of the Missouri River at St. Charles, 19 miles from St. Louis, until a bridge was completed in 1871. In the 1860's the railroad acquired a branch to Brunswick; the town of Moberly was established at the junction and became the location of the railroad's shops. The Brunswick line was extended to Kansas City in 1868.

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Front Side: Wabash Railroad Back Side: Wabash Railroad Wabash F7A units 1163 and 1163A

Wabash Railroad

Item: 3-W     Price: $85.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the Fraim/Slaymaker Co.
Superb dark serif lettering and patina.

History - continued from above

In 1898 Wabash acquired trackage rights from Detroit through southern Ontario to Buffalo, New York, over the rails of the Grand Trunk Railway. The Canadian portion of the Wabash was connected with the rest of the system by ferries across the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor. A line from Butler to New Haven, Indiana, east of Fort Wayne, was opened in 1902, allowing Detroit-St. Louis trains to be routed through Fort Wayne, Huntington and Wabash, Indiana.

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Front Side: Wabash Railroad Back Side: Wabash Railroad Wabash R.R. Flag

Wabash Railroad

Item: 4-W     New Listing     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Slaymaker forged.
Superb serif lettering and copper patina.

History - continued from above

The key portion of the route was the Decatur, Illinois-Moberly, Missouri line. (Decatur was the hub of the Wabash system and the site of its principal shops.) The Hannibal-Moberly portion of the line was built by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, but in 1894 the Wabash made arrangements to operate the line jointly, with costs proportionate to use. Wabash found itself paying 90 percent of the costs and leased the line in 1923. In 1925 the Wabash acquired control of the Ann Arbor Railroad, and by the end of 1962 Wabash owned all but a few shares of Ann Arbor's stock.

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Front Side: Wabash Railroad Back Side: Wabash Railroad Wabash locomotive

Item: 5-W     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Attractive block lettering and great patina.

History - continued from above

By March 31, 1970, N&W acquired control from the Pennsylvania Company; by the end of 1980 N&W had almost complete ownership of the Wabash. The N&W and the Southern Railway merged in 1982, although the N&W continued to exist on paper. The Norfolk Southern formally merged the Wabash into the N&W in November 1991.

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Front Side: Wabash Railroad Back Side: Wabash Railroad NS/Wabash engine No.1070

Item: 6-W     Price: $85.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb block lettering and silver patina.

History - continued from above

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Front Side: Wallkill Valley Railroad Back Side: Wallkill Valley Railroad WV depot

Wallkill Valley Railroad

Item: 7-W     Price: $175.00

Remarks: ca. turn of the century. Bohannan forged.
Superb serif lettering and gold patina.

History

The Wallkill Valley was born in the post-Civil War railroad boom, conceived in 1866 by local interests in its namesake valley, generally southwest of Kingston, NY, as an outlet for agricultural goods. Construction was largely financed by local capital, including substantial bond issues by towns along the route. With no West Shore railroad yet in existence along the Hudson, the natural outlet was to the south, via the Erie Railroad at Montgomery.

Throughout its history, the Wallkill Valley Railroad was owned by a variety of companies, including the West Shore & New York Central railroads, as well as Conrail. After its closure, portions of the rail bed were purchased by municipalities along the corridor and were converted to rail trails.

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Front Side: Wells Fargo Back Side: Wells Fargo WF stagecoach

Wells Fargo

Item: 8-W     New Listing     Price: $95.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by JHW. Climax Co.
Superb block lettering and carmel patina.
Attractive double ring barrel. Nice key!

History

In the 1800s, stagecoaches were more than just a way to travel; they helped people throughout the country stay connected. Stagecoaches carried passengers but also mail, news, and even money. People depended on stages to keep in touch with friends and family. Business owners used it to send instructions and payments. In towns across America, the arrival of the stagecoach was an exciting event of the day.

Wells Fargo used stagecoaches to do business for customers from its first years in business to the 1910s.

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Front Side: White & Black River Railroad Back Side: White & Black River Railroad W&BR R.R. Flag

White & Black River Railroad

Item: 9-W     car key     Price: $115.00

Remarks: Operated from 1890-1941. Very rare key.
Superb serif lettering and patina. Attractive ring barrel.

History

The White & Black River Valley Railway was incorporated on December 1, 1881, under the laws of Arkansas, as the Batesville & Brinkley Railroad Company, for the purpose of constructing and operating a railroad from Batesville to Brinkley, Ark. On January 10, 1890, the corporate name was changed to White & Black River Valley Railway.

On June 30, 1900, the White & Black River Valley Railway leased all of its property, except certain parcels of lands, to the Choctaw-Oklahoma & Gulf for the term of 80 years. The carrier assumed this lease on March 24, 1904, on which date the Choctaw-Oklahoma & Gulf leased all of its rights and property to the carrier.

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Front Side: Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad Back Side: Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad WB&E RR     WB&E RR

Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad

Item: 10-W     Price: $375.00

Remarks: Operated 1892-1939. Pennsy coal runner.
Superb block lettering and two-tone patina. Number "1" = bit type.
Has all the characteristics of a Slaymaker/Barry forged key.
Key purchase qualifies you for a Free Gift

History

The WB&E was a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York-Susquehanna & Western Railroad (NYS&W). It was chartered in 1892 to provide the NYS&W with a route to bring coal from the mines in northeastern Pennsylvania for delivery to the port of Edgewater, New Jersey.

The WB&E was touted as the shortest route from the Scranton coalfields to the New York tidewater, being ten miles shorter than the shortest alternative route. However, its late entry into the region meant that the best routes were already taken, so the WB&E had grades and curves which limited the size and speed of its trains. After the Erie gained control of the NYS&W in 1898, it chose to divert traffic onto the Erie's Wyoming Division via the Susquehanna Connecting to Hillside Junction, and the WB&E eastward from Suscon slowly fell into disuse.

Unable to pay the interest on its mortgage bonds, the WB&E filed for both bankruptcy in 1937. Local freight train service continued to operate on the line up to four times a week until abandonment in 1939. The Wilkes-Barre Connecting Railroad purchased the Susquehanna River bridge at Plains on August 1, 1940. Except for a small stub of track in Suscon, Pennsylvania and this bridge, nothing remains today of the WB&E. In actuality, there are several miles of track remaining along with several concrete structures and switches. The developer of Center Pointe East trade zone wants to restore rail service on this former line.

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Front Side: Wind Gap & Delaware Railroad Back Side: Wind Gap & Delaware Railroad Manual engine turntable     Manual engine turntable

Wind Gap & Delaware Railroad

Item: 11-W     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the Eagle Lock Co.
Superb serif lettering and gold patina.
Subsidiary of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co.

History

The Lehigh and Lackawanna Railroad and its leased Wind Gap and Delaware Railroad were operated by the Central Railroad of New Jersey until February 1, 1905, when the two companies were merged into the L&NE. Around the same time the L&NE acquired the Northampton Railroad. This gave the L&NE a branch to Bethlehem, with a branch off that one to Martins Creek. Part of the main line between Benders Junction (the crossing of the original L&NE and the L&L) and Pen Argyl was abandoned in 1905, with the new route using the L&L and WG&D.

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Front Side: Wisconsin Central Railroad Back Side: Wisconsin Central Railroad WC R.R. Flag

Wisconsin Central Railway

Item: 12-W     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Superb block lettering and patina. This key stamped
"RY" + WC key below stamped "RR" = nice set!

History

The original Wisconsin Central Railroad Company was established by an act of the Wisconsin State Legislature and incorporated in February 1871. It built track throughout Wisconsin, connecting to neighboring states, before being leased to Northern Pacific Railway between 1889-1893. It became the Wisconsin Central Railway Company in 1897, and back to Wisconsin Central Railroad Company in 1954. The railroad was merged into the Soo Line Railroad in 1961.

The Wisconsin Central's existence as an independent carrier was short-lived. Much of the Wisconsin Central right of way was built over land obtained through a Federal land-grant. It was the only land-grant railroad in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Central Railway's tracks reached Ashland in 1877, St. Paul in 1884, Chicago in 1886 and Superior in 1908. The line was leased from 1889-1893 by the Northern Pacific Railroad. The lease was terminated when the Northern Pacific declared bankruptcy during the Panic of 1893. After a proposed merger with the Northern Pacific fell through in 1908, the Wisconsin Central was leased by the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway, commonly known as the Soo Line, in 1908. Controlling interest in the Soo Line (along with the Wisconsin Central) was held by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The Wisconsin Central entered receivership in 1932, declared bankruptcy in 1944, and finally re-emerged from administration in 1954 as the Wisconsin Central Railroad. The Wisconsin Central was entirely merged into the new Soo Line Railroad in 1961.

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Front Side: Wisconsin Central Railroad Back Side: Wisconsin Central Railroad WC 7495

Wisconsin Central Railroad

Item: 13-W     Price: $150.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's-early 1900's. Tapered barrel.
Superb serif lettering and copper-gold patina. This key stamped
"RR" + WC key above stamped "RY" = nice set!

History - continued from above

While under the control of the Northern Pacific, the Wisconsin Central Railroad constructed Solon Spencer Beman's great Romanesque Grand Central Station (Chicago) in 1889 as its southern terminus. When the Northern Pacific defaulted on its lease terms in 1893, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad acquired the several Chicago properties of the Wisconsin Central including Grand Central Station.

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Front Side: Wisconsin Central & Fox Valley Western Railroad Back Side: Wisconsin Central & Fox Valley Western Railroad WC R.R. Flag

Wisconsin Central Lines & Fox Valley Western Railroad

Item: 15-W     Price: $35.00

Remarks: ca. late 1900's. Keyline forged. Nice yellow-gold patina.

History

The Fox River Valley Railroad was a short-lived railroad in eastern Wisconsin from 1988 to 1993 with about 214 miles of track, all of which was former Chicago & North Western Railway trackage. The line ran from Green Bay, Wisconsin to the north side of Milwaukee. Owned by the Itel Rail Corporation, FRV had problems already at start-up, plagued with big debt and little revenue. It was eventually absorbed by the Wisconsin Central along with sister railroad Green Bay & Western on August 28, 1993, as a subsidiary, Fox Valley & Western Ltd.

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Front Side: Willacoochee & DuPont Railroad Back Side: Willacoochee & DuPont Railroad The General   The General

Willacoochee & DuPont Railroad

Item: 16-W     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Superb block lettering and patina.

History

The Willacoochee & DuPont Railroad of Georgia, was a 10 mile short line that ran from Willacoochee to Shaw's Still. When exactly this railroad was chartered is unclear.

In 1915, when the Henderson Lumber Company acquired the Ocilla, Pinebloom, & Valdosta Railway, it ran from Gladys to Shaw's Still. In 1918, the Willacoochee & DuPont Railroad purchased the line and reportedly abandoned the tracks between Gladys and Willacoochee the following year (or used them only for logging or hauling naval stores and turpentine). It continued to operate the eastern and southern section of track from Willacoochee to Shaws Still, but apparently was not able to extend the line past Shaws Still to DuPont, a town on the Atlantic Coast Line in Clinch County. In 1922, this track too was abandoned.

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Front Side: Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railroad Back Side: Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railroad WF&N R.R. Flag

Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railway

Item: 17-W     Price: $150.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Superb dark serif lettering.
Handsome tapered ring barrel and superb copper patina.

History

The Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railway Company was chartered with the intent of linking Wichita Falls with Englewood in Clark County in south central Kansas along the Oklahoma border. In 1906, the Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railway Company of Texas was chartered to build the 17-mile stretch of track from Wichita Falls, located along the Wichita River, north to the Red River, the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. About the same time, the Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway Company was chartered in the still Oklahoma Territory. This portion of the track never reached Kansas but instead several Oklahoma communities, Frederick in Tillman County and Altus in Jackson County, both in the southwestern portion of the state, to Elk City in Beckham County in western Oklahoma, and Forgan in Beaver County in the Oklahoma Panhandle. There was also a branch from Altus to Wellington in Collingsworth County, Texas.

Both the WF&NW and the WF&NW of Texas, technically separate companies, were based in Wichita Falls. T. As commerce grew, the Wichita Falls and Northwestern was sought by the much larger Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as the Katy. In 1911, the Katy acquired the capital stock and constituent lines of both the WF&NW and the WF&NW of Texas.

In 1914, the WF&NW of Texas and the Wichita Falls and Wellington Railway Company of Texas were leased to the Missouri-Kansas & Texas Railway Company of Texas. However, the WF&NW continued to be operated as a separate entity until 1923, when it was acquired by the Katy. The separate WF&NW of Texas was merged in 1968.

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Front Side: Western Maryland Railroad Back Side: Western Maryland Railroad WM Ry No.81

Western Maryland Railroad

Item: 18-W     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. early-mid 1900's. Fraim forged.
Superb block lettering and patina.

History

Chartered in 1852, the Western Maryland Railway was an American Class I railroad which operated in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It was primarily a coal hauling and freight railroad, with a small passenger train operation. The WM became part of the Chessie System in 1973, although it continued independent operations until May 1975 after which time many of its lines were abandoned in favor of parallel Baltimore & Ohio Railroad lines. In 1983 it was fully merged into the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

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Front Side: Western Maryland Railroad Back Side: Western Maryland Railroad WM R.R. Flag

Western Maryland Railroad

Item: 19-W     Price: $65.00

Remarks: ca. early-mid 1900's. Elongated barrel.
Superb serif lettering and patina.

History - continued from above

Gradually, B&O absorbed WM's operations, and in late 1983, B&O officially merged the WM.
The B&O itself merged with the C&O in 1987, which itself became part of CSX Transportation.

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Front Side: Western Maryland Co Back Side: Western Maryland Co WM RR

Western Maryland Co

Item: 20-W     Price: $65.00

Remarks: ca. early-mid 1900's. Elongated barrel.
Superb serif lettering and patina.

History - See 16-W

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Front Side: Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad Back Side: Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad W&LE R.R. Flag

Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad

Item: 21-W     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Fine pocket ware. Over the years Mother Nature produced a nice
gold patina on the front and a two-tone color on the back.

History

The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway was a Class I railroad mostly within the U.S. state of Ohio. It was leased to the New York-Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (NKP) in 1949, and merged into the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1988. A new regional railroad reused the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway name in 1990 when it acquired most of the former W&LE from the N&W.

With investment by railroad financier Jay Gould in 1880 and financial reorganization, the line was converted to standard gauge and construction began again. Service from Huron to Massillon, Ohio, was opened on January 9, 1882, and new lines were constructed that eventually reached the Ohio River and Toledo. The W&LE also developed new docks on Lake Erie at Huron that opened May 21, 1884, when the first cargo of iron ore was received.

The W&LE began producing locomotives at its Brewster, Ohio, shops in 1910, and boasted one of the finest locomotive producing facilities in the country. Over the years, the W&LE built and rolled boilers and erected fifty of their own steam locomotives, a feat never tried by many larger and more famous railroads. The W&LE was jokingly called the "Wailing and Leg Weary" but, after several early financial embarrassments, finally found prosperity in its later life. The W&LE was leased by the NKP in 1949. The NKP merged with Norfolk & Western Railway in 1964. The W&LE was finally consolidated into the Norfolk & Western on September 20, 1988.

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Front Side: Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad Back Side: Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad WNY&P R.R. Flag

Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad

Item: 22-W     Price: $165.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's-early 1900's. Very rare key
Superb block and gold patina.
Not to be associated with today's WNY&P Railroad.

History

The Western New York & Pennsylvania Railway was a railroad in the U.S. states of New York and Pennsylvania. Incorporated in 1887 as the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad from the reorganization of the Buffalo-New York & Philadelphia, and reorganized in 1895 as the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railway, it was acquired and leased by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1900 and merged into the Penndel Company in 1955.

The 1895 to 1899 period saw revenue inadequate to pay the bond interest, and this was contemporaneous with the Pennsylvania's need to expand into western New York. Moreover, this expansion did not raise competitive issues with the Pennsy's principal rival, the New York Central. Thus, on 1 August 1900, the WNY&PRY signed an agreement with the PRR under which the latter operated the former. Although the WNY&PRY did not generate much profit in this arrangement, it did improve matters for the Allegheny Valley and the Philadelphia and Erie roads, so the net result was satisfactory to the Pennsylvania. Eventually, the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railway became the Pennsylvania's Buffalo & Allegheny Valley Division.

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Front Side: Western Railway of Alabama Back Side: Western Railway of Alabama Early WofA 6 wheeler

Western Railway of Alabama

Item: 23-W     Price: $395.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's. Forged by T. Slaight.
Superb serif lettering and patina. A very early WofA key.
Key purchase qualifies you for a Free Gift

History

The Western Railway of Alabama (WRA) also seen as "WofA" was created as the Western Railroad of Alabama by the owners of the Montgomery & West Point Railroad (M&WP) in 1860. It was built to further the M&WP's development West from Montgomery, Alabama to Selma, Alabama. When the line was constructed in 1870, the M&WP was merged into the WRA, creating a line from Selma to West Point, Georgia. It served Auburn, Alabama and connected in Opelika, Alabama to the Central of Georgia line from Columbus, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama. Although it was partially owned by the Central of Georgia around the turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, it did not end up being owned by Norfolk Southern when that company came into existence due to the merger of the CofG's parent, the Southern Railway, and the Norfolk & Western Railway.

In the 1980s, the line and its sister railroads, the Atlanta & West Point Railroad and the Georgia Railroad, became part of the Family Lines System, along with the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and the Clinchfield Railroad. The lines were all later renamed Seaboard System Railroad, which in 1986 merged with the Chessie System to become CSX Transportation.

The WRA still sees regular freight service. Passenger service ceased January 7, 1970.

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Front Side: Washington-Ohio & Western Railroad Back Side: Washington-Ohio & Western Railroad WO&W R.R. Flag

Washington-Ohio & Western Railroad

Item: 24-W     Price: $345.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's. Low serial number.
Handsome double ring barrel. Superb serif lettering and patina
Keys' stamped initials shout out it's own exclamation, WOW!
Key purchase qualifies you for a Free Gift

History

Originally incorporated as the Alexandria & Harper's Ferry Railroad, construction on the line began in 1855 by the Alexandria-Loudoun & Hampshire (AL&H) Railroad under the presidency of Lewis McKenzie First intended to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River to reach the coal fields in the western part of Hampshire County, Virginia, that are now within Mineral County, West Virginia, the AL&H began operating to Vienna in 1859 from a terminal station near Princess and Fairfax Streets in old town Alexandria. In 1860, the AL&H reached Leesburg in Loudoun County. Because of its proximity to Washington, D.C., the line saw much use and disruption during the Civil War. After the war, the name of the line was changed in 1870 to the Washington and Ohio Railroad. The line was extended from Leesburg to Hamilton in 1870 and to Round Hill in 1874.

Upon acquisition by new owners in the 1880s, the line's name was changed twice: first to the Washington and Western Railroad in 1882 and in the next year to the Washington, Ohio and Western (WO&W) Railroad. However, the line's trains did not serve either Washington, Ohio, or the West.

In 1886, the Richmond and Danville Railroad, whose trunk line travelled between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta with connections to New York City and New Orleans, leased the WO&W. In 1888, the Richmond & Danville began to operate the WO&W's trains between Washington, D.C., and Round Hill.

In 1894, the newly formed Southern Railway absorbed the Richmond & Danville Railroad and acquired the WO&W.

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Front Side: Wheeling Terminal Railway Back Side: Wheeling Terminal Railway PRR Flag

Wheeling Terminal Railway

Item: 25-W     New Listing     Price: $225.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb serif lettering and patina. A very rare key.

History

The Wheeling Terminal Railway (WT) is a former 9 1/2 mile railroad between Martins Ferry, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.

During its operation, the Wheeling Terminal furnished passenger terminal facilities in Wheeling for The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Company. It also once had connections for freight transfer business with the tracks of The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company, The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Company, and The Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company.

In January 1921, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) took over operations of the WT.

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Front Side: Winston Salem Southbound Railroad Back Side: Winston Salem Southbound Railroad WSS R.R. Flag

Winston Salem Southbound Railroad

Item: 26-W     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. early-mid 1900's. Interesting "B" stamp.
Attractive serif lettering and carmel patina.

History

The Winston-Salem Southbound Railway (WSS) is a 90-mile short-line railroad jointly owned by CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway, which provide it with equipment. It connects with NS at the north end in Winston-Salem, CSX at the south end in Wadesboro, and in between with NS at Lexington and Whitney, the subsidiary High Point, Thomasville and Denton Railroad at High Rock, and the Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Railway at Norwood. Originally owned jointly by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Norfolk and Western Railway, predecessors to CSX and NS, it was completed in November 1910.

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Front Side: Wilmington & Northern Railroad Back Side: Wilmington & Northern Railroad W&N R.R. Flag

Wilmington & Northern Railroad

Item: 27-W     Price: $165.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's-early 1900's. Fraim forged?
Block lettering, fine pocket wear and great gold patina.
A very rare and neat looking key with a unique style cut.

History

The Wilmington Northern Branch was built in 1868 as the Wilmington & Brandywine Railroad. The Reading Company obtained control of it in 1898 and it became the Wilmington & Northern Branch. The W&N is almost entirely curved as it follows its route along streams and rivers from Reading, PA to Wilmington, DE.

The W&N is known for serving steel mills at Reading, Birdsboro and Coatesville. There were numerous smaller industries along the way, including coal dumps, paper mills, scrap yards and quarries. In the Wilmington area was the DuPont Company. The W&N crossed the PRR five times between Birdsboro and Wilmington, with four interchanges. At Wilmington it interchanged with the B&O.

The W&N was one of the last refuges of camelback engines and later regular steam power on the Reading. There were helper grades in both directions on either side of Coatesville, which is about the mid-point of the 70 mile branch. Hurricane Agnes damaged the northern end of the branch between Birdsboro and Coatesville in 1972 and that portion was abandoned. From Coatesville to Wilmington is still operated by the Brandywine Valley Railroad.

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Front Side: Winchester & Western Railroad Back Side: Winchester & Western Railroad How the West was Won    How the West was Won

Winchester & Western Railroad

Item: 28-W     New Listing     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Line still active today.
Superb block lettering and patina.

History

In the summer of 1916, it was decided by the Baltimore & Ohio RR as well as the Winchester Lumber Company that the forests of Hardy, Hampshire, and Frederick Counties of West Virginia could potentially be tapped for their resources. In the years following, the country was participating in the First World War and more railroad ties were needed due to the resulting increase in rail traffic.

The Intermountain Construction Company began working on the Winchester & Western Railroad, and the first train set track in January 1918 to carry lumber from Gore to Winchester, VA. Construction was a long process due to a shortage of heavy machinery during wartime, and the track itself was completed to Wardensville, WV by May 25, 1921.

The Winchester & Western began to cut back operations throughout the 1930's and 40's, but remained active between Gore and Winchester. The railroad has seen more use since the mid-1980's due to WW's acquisitions of the Conrail Winchester Secondary line to Williamsport, MD as well as three short lines in New Jersey.

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Front Side: Western Pacific Railroad Back Side: Western Pacific Railroad WP R.R. Flag

Western Pacific Railroad

Item: 29-W     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Great block lettering and patina.

History

The Western Pacific Railroad was a Class I railroad in the United States. It was formed in 1903 as an attempt to break the near-monopoly the Southern Pacific Railroad had on rail service into northern California. WP's Feather River Route directly competed with SP's portion of the Overland Route for rail traffic between Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah and Oakland, California for nearly 80 years. In 1983 the Western Pacific was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad. The Western Pacific was one of the original operators of the California Zephyr.

The original Western Pacific Railroad was established in 1865 to build the westernmost portion of the Transcontinental Railroad between San Jose, California (later Oakland, California), and Sacramento, California. This company was absorbed into the Central Pacific Railroad in 1870.

The WP handled the "Silver Lady" from Oakland, California, to Salt Lake City, Utah from 1949-1970. The Western Pacific owned several connecting short-line railroads. The largest was the Sacramento Northern Railway, which once reached from San Francisco to Chico, California. Others included the Tidewater Southern Railway, the Central California Traction, the Indian Valley Railroad and the Deep Creek Railroad.

The Western Pacific was acquired in 1983 by Union Pacific Corporation, which in 1996 would purchase its long-time rival, the Southern Pacific Railroad. In July 2005 Union Pacific unveiled a brand new EMD SD70ACe locomotive, Union Pacific 1983, painted as an homage to the Western Pacific.

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Front Side: Williams Valley Railroad Back Side: Williams Valley Railroad Reading R.R. Flag

Williams Valley Railroad

Item: 30-W     Price: $375.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's. Attractive tapered ring barrel.
Superb lettering and patina. A very early key and a real beauty!
Lucky serial number 7!
Key purchase qualifies you for a Free Gift

History

The Williams Valley Railroad was an anthracite-hauling railroad that operated in Schuylkill and Dauphin Counties, Pennsylvania from 1892 to 1971. For most of that time, it was a subsidiary of the Reading Railroad. It extended the Reading's Brookside Branch at Brookside 11 miles (18 km) down the Williams Valley to Lykens.

The railroad was originally chartered on September 19, 1891, to connect Brookside (the site of a large colliery served by the Reading) with Lykens. The line was opened on July 1, 1892, from Lykens to a point on the Reading known as Williams Valley Junction. The railroad owned one engine, a Baldwin 2-6-0 named "A.F. Baker." The railroad owned three passenger cars in 1894; these were presumably used to operate "miner's trains" for the colliery workers, as was done on the connecting Reading lines.

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Front Side: Wabash Railroad Back Side: Wabash Railroad Wabash R.R. Flag

Wabash Railroad

Item: 31-W     caboose/coach key     Price: $25.00

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Y


Front Side: Youngstown & Northern Railroad Back Side: Youngstown & Northern Railroad Y&N R.R. Flag

Youngstown & Northern Railroad

Item: 1-Y     Price: $85.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Nice serif lettering.
Fine pocket wear and great dark patina.

History

Railroad's played a important part with the steel mills during the "Industrial Age," hauling the coal and ore to the mills and the finished product to market. The Youngstown & Northern Railroad, a shortline, was most likely owned by one of Ohio's steel mills. There is no information out there on the Y&N's demise. With the decline of the steel industry in the 1970's, it was either abandoned or merged into the Genesee & Wyoming.

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Front Side: Youngstown & Suburban Railroad Back Side: Youngstown & Suburban Railroad Y&S R.R. Flag

Youngstown & Suburban Railroad

Item: 2-Y     Price: $45.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Elongated barrel.
Serif lettering compliments this rustic looking key.

History

The Y&S was chartered in 1904 and from the very beginning, the railroad was in the freight business. In 1916, after reorganization, the Y&S was the Youngstown & Suburban. In 1928, the Y&S came under the control of the Montour Railroad who wanted to use the line for an entry into Youngstown. In 1944 the name was changed back to Youngstown & Southern and the next year the Y&S took over the Pittsburg-Lisbon & Western Railroad which was also controlled by the Montour. Passenger service lasted until 1948, the last Ohio interurban. The Leetonia extensionwas abandoned later that year, and the line was dieselized before long. Later it became part of the Montour, which was the plan in 1928.

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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 12/11/2017

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