Frequently Asked Questions

What is Golden Spike Enterprises?

GSE is a pair of promoters and several independent contractors who have been attending and organizing railroad shows for almost thirty years. In that time, GSE has become the premier organizer for railroad shows in the United States. GSE also conducts auctions of railroadiana, sells railroadiana on consignment, appraises large collections, maintains an inventory of railroad and transportation memorabilia for sale, and collects railroad and transportation memorabilia.

What is railroadiana?

Generally, railroadiana is anything related to railroads that railfans collect. The most popular forms of railroadiana include dining car china, timetables, flatware, signs and clocks used in train stations, keys, locks, lanterns, lantern globes, railroad passes, employee caps and cap badges, railroad paintings, calendars, photographs of trains, books concerning trains, menus, whistles, tail end signs, model trains, Official Guides, tools, and even rolling stock (i.e., railroad cars). We often use the word railroadiana when we mean transportation memorabilia generally because our shows focus on railroad memorabilia. At our shows, it is common to also find collectibles from steamships, airlines, buses, and other forms of transportation; however, the vast amount of memorabilia comes from railroads.

What can I expect to see at a railroad show?

You can expect to see a variety of railroadiana for sale, model trains for sale, lots of collectors, and even operating model train layouts (depending upon the show). You will not see rolling stock (actual railroad cars) unless there is an operating track nearby the fairgrounds (e.g., Gaithersburg).

I have some railroadiana. What is it worth?

The simple answer is that your items are worth as much as someone is willing to pay for them. More popular items can be valued using our list of items for sale or books on railroadiana. GSE does appraise larger collections for a fee. If the items are particularly desireable, GSE may sell them on consignment or in the railroad auction. Exactly what price you can sell your items for varies widely based on the audience of collectors your sale reaches and how quickly you want to sell your items.

Why should I attend / sell my items at a railroad show or in the railroad auction when I can sell them on eBay or another auction site, myself?

After almost thirty years of attending and organizing railroad shows, GSE has built a very strong and consistent group of buyers and sellers of railroadiana that attend its shows. This means that, on average, you will find more and better railroadiana at our shows, as well as a consistently better group of collectors than you can count on reaching with an online auction. Our railroad shows inevitably have their share of surprises including extremely rare items for sale and incredible bargains. At a railroad show, buyers can hold and examine items they are buying before they purchase them. This can be invaluable with the number of reproductions and damaged items that are sold at online auctions as original or undamaged items. An expert's eye and touch cannot be valued highly enough when non-collectors list items at online auction. Finally, our railroad shows are frequently social events where friends gather to engage their mutual interest of railroads and collecting.

How do I get more information on a particular railroad show or auction?

Nearly all of the information that goes out to exhibitors and collectors is available on our shows page. We also mail out this information along with reminder / discount cards to those on our mailing list. You can sign up for our mailing list online using this form.

How do I remove myself from the mailing list?

Simply e-mail "charles.miller ||AT||" with your name and address and "Remove me from your mailing list" in the subject line.

GSE Website Questions

I can't find something on the website but I know it is here somewhere. Where can I find it?

Try the sitemap. It has links to every page on the website arranged how they can be found.

Why can't I see any of the e-mail addresses on this website?

I have written the e-mail address as "user ||AT||" instead of Spammers use automated programs to "scrape" e-mail addresses off of websites by the usual format of the e-mail address.

I am having problems with this website. What can I do?

E-mail your problem and the version of your web browser to "charles.miller ||AT||". He will pass your problem to the webmaster.