This file was last updated on December 9, 1996.

trainThe Rail Philatelist

News & Notes Back Issues | Oct. 1996 | Nov. 1996 |



Volume 1 Number 3 ……………………………………………………… December 1, 1996

Dear Fellow Rail Philatelist:

Response to my first couple newsletters and A-D price lists has been phenomenal! In addition to numerous notes and orders from the U.S. and Canada, I've heard from Australia, China, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland so far. Thanks to all of you. As a result of all the orders, some of the items are already sold out - I'm trying to get more of the sold out items but can't promise if or when I'll locate them. Most popular items ordered were the Afghanistan #1234-40 which sold out quickly and the Burkina Faso Marilyn Monroe Souvenir Sheet - I'm not sure if I should look for a message in that one or not! Now for a new feature -

THE STAMP OF THE MONTH Great Britain Scott # 574 is one of my favorite stamps not only for the simple elegance of its design but most importantly for the many fond memories it evokes - among others, the joys of that first Christmas train set. Mine was a Lionel O-27 two-unit Union Pacific Diesel set with an operating log dump car. I used my paper-route money to add another operating car and a Plasticville building to the layout each year - each purchase was a carefully considered pleasure. Those trains gave me endless hours of fun and entertainment right up to the day I sold them all to help pay for my college education. Based on the prices I see for old Lionel trains like mine at the train shows I do most weekends, I should have held on to my Lionel items - I probably could have put all three boys through college with them! I assume that most other train stamp collectors have similar fond memories - enjoy them even while you are creating many more new ones.

SHOW TRAVEL Those of you who have done much business travel know it isn't nearly as glamorous as the TV commercials make it appear, but it does have it's rewards. I always plan my show travel route along a railroad track as much as possible since I'm an avid train watcher. On my way to San Diego this trip I pulled off in Benson, AZ to see several cars from the California Western (The Skunk) tourist train on a siding there in addition to all the Southern Pacific traffic visible from Interstates 10 & 8. In fact, I'm writing this from a motel room in Victorville, CA after a great day chasing trains on Cajon Pass - 21 different SP, UP, BNSF (still all SF here) and AMTRAK. I hope to also complete work on several more stamp alphabet lists (E-F for sure!) while I'm on the road and no, I don't have one of those fancy laptops yet - my Mac SE30 & modem are compact enough to put in a box and carry along on extended trips. This lets me get some database work done and check my e-mail regularly. But if I did have a battery powered laptop I could work and watch trains simultaneously - hmmm - "Dear Santa, ..."

APPROVALS Several collectors every month request that I send them material on approval. I respond that I'm not an approval dealer (except for NEW ISSUES as outlined last month) - I sell from price lists and at shows - I am hesitant to have scarce or unusual material sitting on someonelses desk for a month when I can show it to hundreds of people at a show each weekend or need it to fill a mail order. I do fill want lists however.

WANT LISTS Since I have much more material available than I have listed on my web page or printed lists, I am always happy to respond to want lists for specific items. If I have what you are looking for, I'll send photocopies of what I have or I'll send the items directly to customers I have dealt with previously. But I have difficulty responding to general requests like"What do you have in RPOs?" (see item below) or "I collect the Pennsylvania RR - do you have anything?" (yes - do you want postcards, covers, stamps, advertizing labels, stock certificates, ... or what?). So help me out by being as specific as you can be when sending your want list - the more specific it is the faster I can respond. If it's too general I put it aside until I can find the time to deal with it properly.

MOBILE POST OFFICE SOCIETY If you are interested in Railroad Post Office or other transit markings, you should be a member of the MOBILE POST OFFICE SOCIETY. Not only do they issue a great bi-monthly, Transit Postmark Collector, which provides 24 pages of useful information on all aspects of the hobby but they also have been issuing a serialized catalog of RPO and Transit Clerk markings. Annual dues are $18.00. For more information, contact the membership secretary, Douglas N. Clark, Box 51, Lexington, GA 30648 or telephone 706-743-5044. Incidentally, I have about 5000 RPOs that I carry to shows but I haven't figured out a reasonable way to handle them via mail or the Internet - any suggestions?

CINDERELLAS I just made a major cinderella purchase which prompted me to get some of them listed and illustrated on my web page. Back in the teens several western railroads issued sheets of 10 poster stamps to promote tourism - the Great Northern Railway issued 8 different "See America First" series, several promoting Glacier National Park and Native Americans, the last one being Woodrow Wilson's Cabinet in a set of 12; the Northern Pacific issued 12 "Wonderland" series promoting Yellowstone National Park and other travel destinations; the Union Pacific issued two sets and the Burlinton Route issued three. I had always assumed that there might be some small album with advertizing that each of the sets was intended to go in although I've never seen one. This purchase, however, included some remnants of booklet pads that indicate that the sheets were put out in pads of 50. This may mean that no special collectors albums ever existed - if any of you have any information, I'm an eager listener. Unfortunately, this purchase didn't include all the sets issued but I do have 11 different series in stock at present. If you are interested, check out my web page or send me a note and I can send B&W photocopies with price info. I have a large stock of other cinderella material also that I will try to get organized and listed in the near future.

BUYING Tis the busiest shopping season of the year. Actually, in the collectables business, buying is harder than selling. The challenge of finding new and unusual material to offer to you, my customers, keeps me going - I really enjoy the hunt. My wife often asks me "Why do you keep buying all this stuff? Don't you have more than enough already?" I look into her beautiful blue eyes and say "You can't sell from an empty cart." She looks at my overloaded blue van and says "Your cart doesn't look very empty to me!" Be that as it may, I am always buying so if you have better single railway items or complete collections that no longer interest you let me make you an offer. We'll both be glad you did!



Al's signatureAL PETERSON

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