This file was last updated on January 9, 1996.

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Volume 1 Number 4 ……………………………………………………… January 1, 1997

Dear Fellow Rail Philatelist:

Thanks to all of you for making 1996 my best sales year ever! And if I can get some more of the material I've purchased organized, 1997 will be even better - with your help of course!

WHAT'S IN STOCK? My original slogan was "Everything Philatelic Related to Trains and Trolleys" but my stock includes anything paper related to railroads such as all the stamps listed in ATA HANDBOOK #130 plus thousands of other railroad parcel and revenue items not listed therein as well as New Issues, worldwide First Day Covers & RR Event Covers, Railway Post Office Covers, U.S. Express Covers, RR Cinderellas & Advertising Labels, RR Perfins, Train and Depot Postcards, RR Stock Certificates, RR Books & Magazines and Miscellaneous RR Paper Memorabilia

STAMP OF THE MONTH New Brunswick #6 is my selection to start the New Year since it was the first train stamp issued by a government agency. There is some question as to the locomotive used for the engraving. It has been suggested that it was the "Ossekeag", No. 9 of the European and North American Railway. This line opened from Pointe du Chene to Moncton (about 19 miles) in 1857 but was extended from Saint John to Shediac (108 total miles) by August 1860 (shortly after #6 was issued). Opening of the railway was of course a great event in the province and therefore it was totally appropriate to mark the advent of the steam engine on the postage stamp. However the locomotive depicted on the stamp looks more like the type built by the Portland Locomotive Company for the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railway. In truth, the American Bank Note Company engraver probably used some artistic license and the final design probably isn't correct for either railway! Incidentally the rare essay is different in detail from the issued stamp and the two locos mentioned (see photo). The stamps were printed in 10 X10 sheets and placed on sale May 15, 1860 (another reason to love this stamp - my birthday but 80 years early!). There were two printings, one of 200,000 in 1860 and another 400,000 in late 1863 or early 1864. For further details see The Postage Stamps of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by Nicholas Argenti, Quarterman Publications, Lawrence, MA ISBN 0-88000-088-0. I have several copies of #6 in stock including a beautiful upper right corner block of 10.

PACIFIC 97 will be held May 29 - June 8, 1997 in the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA. This international stamp exhibition will be the philatelic event of 1997 in the United States , if not the world! As you may have noticed in my SHOW SCHEDULE sent last month, I will be there but I won't have a booth listed in the directory. Booths start at $4500, which is way too much for me to lay out even for the show of the century! But I do want to take part so I will be working with a couple of my dealer friends in their booth (details later). This means I won't have my entire stock of railway material available for display or sale - however, I am trying to make arrangements to have some of my material there. So, if there are particular items or areas of my stock you would like to see and Pacific 97 will be your only opportunity to see me, send me a note and I'll try to have what you want there. In any case, I look forward to meeting many of you there and to renewing old acquaintances with those I've already met. The CASEY JONES RAILROAD UNIT will be having a meeting there also on June 7, so I may try to arrange some type of forum in conjunction with that. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

SOUTH AFRICA RAILWAY THEMATIC GROUP (SPOORWEG TEMATIESE GROEP): Received an informative letter from Albert Borgstein, P.O.Box 23168, Gezina 0031 South Africa in which he outlined his interests in model railroading and African Railway Philately. Among other activities, he helped with the research and designs of the 1991 & 1993 Bophuthatswana train stamp sets and the 1993 Botswana set. He included a past issue of the NEWSLETTER-NUUSBRIEF which he edits quarterly for the South African Railway Thematic Group. It contains 12 pages chock full of information on stamps, covers, postmarks and people associated with African railways. He has also published a catalog RAILWAY THEMATIC STAMPS OF AFRICA in 1989 with supplements in 1991, 1993, 1995 and due in 1997. The 85-page "illustrated catalog contains all the railway stamps of Africa in alphabetical and chronological country order. Two maps of this continent listing no longer existing and still existing countries in Africa are included. Introductory notes about each country are given." A catalog number concordance is included for Scott, Stanley Gibbons, Yvert & Tellier and Michel. The catalog doesn't include prices, perforation varieties, cableways or cranes on rails, nor railway parcel stamps. Price is US$28.00. I have ordered a copy and have requested membership in the group. Anyone else who is interested can contact Mr. Borgstein directly at the address above or write me and I will forward. He is currently working on a new book which gives more historical and technical details regarding the African locomotives and railways featured on stamps. I look forward to receiving a copy when it is completed and wish him well in this and future endeavors.

WEB PAGE UPDATES: New items and areas are added to my web page every month so if you haven't visited it in awhile, please do so again. One loyal customer e-mailed me "With all the new things you have added to your page and all the links you provide to other stamp pages I don't need to know any other web address." I wouldn't go quite that far but I am trying to make my page as useful as possible. In December I added a RAILROAD PAPER section. The NEW ISSUES and MONTHLY SPECIALS are changed every month and items are added to the alphabet lists every month also - I had hoped to complete all the alphabet lists by the end of 1996, but all my boys came home for Christmas so I took the entire week off while they were here - Sorry, but there are some things more important than train stamps! I'll have a TRAIN SOUND OF THE MONTH starting in January and I've cleaned up a couple errors and awkward constructions - for example, you can now page through the exhibit instead of having to go back to the table of contents each time. Send me your comments and suggestions - I don't expect my page to ever be included in any of those "HOT WEB SITES" lists but I do want it to be useful to you, my loyal customers, and to be attractive enough to encourage new customers. Thanks for your support!



Al's signatureAL PETERSON

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