Author Topic: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL  (Read 1798 times)

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up1950s

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REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« on: September 28, 2016, 10:59:54 PM »
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How does the mail get delivered to RPO's at major stops ? I looked but can't find US mail trucks at yards or mail facilities in the pre TOFC era .

wcfn100

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 11:23:10 PM »
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Back the truck up or load it by cart.





Here's a good one of King St Station.



And the Monon at Indianapolis.



Jason
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 11:47:47 PM by wcfn100 »

seusscaboose

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 11:23:40 PM »
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In stations

 Good example is Washington, D.C.

Old post office

Next to station

Had tracks in basement dedicated
"I have a train full of basements"

NKPH&TS #3589


Inspiration at:
http://nkphts.org/modelersnotebook

bbussey

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 11:27:11 PM »
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In stations

 Good example is Washington, D.C.

Old post office

Next to station

Had tracks in basement dedicated

Same exact scenario in Manhattan at Penn Station.
Bryan Busséy
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superchief

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 11:46:58 PM »
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Richie, I model Kansas City's Union station, I model 5 of the 18 tracks that had platforms, in the early 1950's the station has 123 arrival/ departures in a 24 hour period. as noted earlier the large terminals had stand alone Post office next to or built into the station with there own tracks. Kansas City's was on the west side of the station next to the head house with the REA. I have a friend that is in our local train club that grew up in Kansas City and went to collage there, his summer job was unloading mail cars and it was done by hand!!!!! this would have been late 1950's. Santa Fe went to containers loaded onto converted baggage car frames in the earlier 1960's, I am not for certain, but I would bet the containers were loaded by hand and then the containers were set on the cars by machine. Santa Fe's Fast Mail Express train # 7 / 8 in peak season would run 20 -25 car trains and sometime up to three sections PER DAY!!!! :o somewhere around 60 -75 cars of mail a day!!!!!!!  Gordon

Cumbo2000

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 12:35:01 AM »
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For starters you might try this web site for the RPO Museum.

https://historicrailpark.com/the-railway-post-office-rpo/

Bob Witt

randgust

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 07:21:23 AM »
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For the containerized stuff, the flexi-van equipment used on NYC, ATSF and others was often used for mail.   After a rough start, the Super C was heavily into mail and containers and was lettered as such.  This was kind of a side-door transition era that wasn't really entirely out of the RPO and not yet into generic containerization as we see it today.   I've often wondered at these side doors and why they were ever there, but I've never seen any hard evidence of truck delivery to containers already on a train. 

http://www.truckinginfo.com/fc_images/blogs/m-bnr-flexivan-1.jpg

REA was its own company, and I've got several shots of two-axle REA trucks hanging around depots, particularly my Flagstaff AZ prototype.   The Athearn N REA ford truck, and the Mini-metals truck, are pretty close depending on era.   I've never seen any shots of them directly transferring to the trains by backing up to the doors though.

Locally we had a huge mail-order company in the town and they almost singlehandedly kept the Erie-Lackawanna package mail service going out of Jamestown, NY.  (They had their own zip code and still do).  That was 17 miles north of the actual company.  They had contractor trucks - not identified as US Mail - hauling mail to the EL depot.  I think what you're missing is simply the absence of billboard identification on the trucks doing major mail delivery.   
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 07:49:30 AM by randgust »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2016, 10:26:40 AM »
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REA was its own company, and I've got several shots of two-axle REA trucks hanging around depots, particularly my Flagstaff AZ prototype.   The Athearn N REA ford truck, and the Mini-metals truck, are pretty close depending on era.   I've never seen any shots of them directly transferring to the trains by backing up to the doors though.


At least on the Pacific Electric they did... :o
This would make a great "industry" to switch.
Otto K.

up1950s

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2016, 07:53:05 PM »
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Thanks for the replies everyone . Amazing that of all the mail by rail there is such a scant amount of shots of US Mail trucks vs REA trucks at rail sidings . If I had a layout I would fix that . Bus , Taxi , REA , Post Office , Western Union , and a White Castle all that the station .

jmlaboda

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2016, 10:38:03 PM »
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Most small towns received mail that was picked up by the Post Office at trackside...



Something else to keep in mind... on branchlines and shortlines that didn't have enough passenger traffic to warrant a passenger train often used side door cabooses to handle express and bagged mail and packages.  Probably the best known was GN X181, a 60' caboose with a healthy express section...


brokemoto

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2016, 09:26:37 AM »
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The Southern Pacific ran local mail trains on the SF Peninsula.  They were numbers 110/141, 147 and 151/154.  They handled mail until the early-1960s, or so.   In addition, the Del Monte, The Lark and the Coast Mail handled Peninsula mail. 

 I have seen a photograph of  an REA truck backed up to the baggage car on #110 (I went looking for it, but could not find it).  It is parked right across the platform.  At the time, #110 carried a working baggage car, a Harriman RPO/baggage and a Harriman "sub" coach.  I forget if the photograph was taken at Redwood City, Bay Meadows or Bayshore Yards, but I do seem to recall that it was one of those stops.   Train #110 actually did survive into the 1970s.   When I rode it, it was usually one Harriman "sub" pulled by a cab unit that had an FM builder's plate on it.  Most Bellarmine (and St. Francis) students rode #112, the "School Bus on Rails", but, if you had a before school practice or activity meeting, you rode #110.

SP had no FM cab units.   Someone told me that the usual assignment was an ex-SSW FP-7 that was on its last leg and that someone in Mission Bay had welded the FM Builder's plate to it by mistake.  That was believable, as SOUTHERN PICIFAC was not an uncommon sight on hood units or yard goats (the latter, especially).  Someone else told me the same swapped builder plates story but insisted that it was on the last PA that SP retained as backup power for Peninsula commutes past the 1967 retirement dates of the others.  Another one told me that SP did purchase one passenger Erie from ATSF as backup power for Peninsula commutes.   I suppose that I never will get the straight story.

It is interesting to note what randgust posted about the mail at Jamestown, New York on the Erie Lackamoney.  I am  using the presence of mail order houses in  towns on my non-historic railroad to justify the presence of more passenger trains than what a short line like that might run.   In the town at the end of the line is a building with large trackside doors that is on the siding with the freight house.  That is the mail and express facility.  It has room for one car, so if there are two cars for that facility, the other one goes at the freight house.  I use the presence of the mail traffic to justify the existence of another part of the pike that is supposedly another line that the prototypes operate so that they can pick up the mail traffic from the short line, as well as the freight traffic from the bicycle factory and small engine plant that are on the short line.

I would not be surprised if POD regulations did not permit mail to go through a LCL facility if the railroad had another facility for mail, but, everything that I have read suggests that often POD regulations were honoured more in their breach than keeping.

sirenwerks

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2016, 10:06:53 AM »
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In stations

 Good example is Washington, D.C.

Old post office

Next to station

Had tracks in basement dedicated





Are you sure?  If you're talking about the 'old post office' which is now the National Postal Museum building, which served as the main DC post office from 1914 to the mid 90s, tracks in the basement presents as a curious notion, unless these are tracks coming from southern destination lines.  I say this because there's both a sizable pedestrian bridge situated between WUS and the USPS at [northern line] track level and a bridge carrying actual track (and one can presume whole rail cars) over First Street from WUS into the building [of Federalist architecture a block down, which I always presumed was part of the USPS facility].

Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

Mark5

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2016, 10:23:54 AM »
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Never heard of tracks in the DC basement ... would love to know more if this was true.

"To insure rapid transit between Union Station and the new post office, an elevated bridge would link the two buildings. Postal officials boasted that mail coming into the city by train would “be on the assorting table . . . within a minute after the train comes to a stop.” (2) "

http://postalmuseumblog.si.edu/2014/09/100th-anniversary-of-the-dc-city-post-office-building.html

The building opened in 1914.

Mark

brokemoto

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2016, 04:00:03 PM »
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There is the pedestrian bridge at track level.  I seem to recall that someone had it taken down in the 1970s or 1980s, but had it replaced.  The track to the post office appeared curved.  Amtrak often used it as a switcher pocket.  Frequently an SW-something or NW-something sat on it.  I do not recall ever seeing an RS-anything or GP anything on it.  Amtrak did acquire RS-3s and GP-7/GP-9 as station switchers, later.

I forget when Amtrak sold off the WTC RS-1s.  Rich Folks and Pedigrees wound up with some of them, but I do not remember if it was all of them.

jmlaboda

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Re: REA at rail siding vs US MAIL
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2016, 05:23:22 PM »
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Quote
Frequently an SW-something or NW-something sat on it.

Not sure about EMDs being there but earlier on in the Amtrak era it was Washington Terminal ALCOs that handled the switching at the terminal, first painted in blue with white lettering and later in AMTK striping.  In addition to the WATC ALCOs were an ex-Rock Island EMD GP7 numbered 80 (ex-1201) and an ex-Pennsy EMD SW1 738 (likely under Amtrak but painted blue; ex-PRR 9422).  WATC 44, 46 and 47 are known to have survived as AMTK units before being scattered to the four winds.

Large facilities sometimes had tracks where the cars could be loaded and unloaded while smaller terminals did it trackside, like shown in the images above.  It also depended on whether or not the train was originating or terminating at a given terminal, with through trains typically having mail and express dealt with at trackside while terminating operations usually had the cars moved to their respective building for servicing.  Also the dropping and pick-up of cars mid-route also was not unusual, again with the cars being sent to their proper place for handling.