A pal of mine ran a street sweeper in a big city for years, and he used to find all kinds of interesting (but moistly disgusting) stuff on the curbs.
He'd found several train-related things over the years. He once told me he'd found at least 3-4 complete train sets in the box in gutters, in various conditions of course.
The one thing he found that we never could figure out was an original WW2 German general's peaked cap. It never made any sense why someone would just throw away something that valuable. He sold it a while back to help pay for his son's college.