I'm primarily interested in how this applied to Rio Grande narrowgauge
operations, but suspect that since the post office likely didn't make a
distinction between NG and SG, the answers will likely apply to SG ops
How was non-RPO mail handled?
RPOs sorted mail enroute, in addition to carrying mail between end
points of the RPO route, so they were essentially a mobile post office.
And I'm pretty sure that much mail was likely shifted off the rails and
onto Rio Grande Motorways fairly early on.
In the present day, much mail is moved by contractors. They pick it up,
usually by truck, and move it between post offices or hand it off to
other carriers like airlines to forward to its destination.
Was sealed and sorted mail secured as baggage/express moved by rail on
trains that didn't handle a RPO car? Or was it, once the RPO was gone,
moved off the rails entirely?
I'm asking to determine whether sealed mail was carried in non-RPO
baggage and express cars and whether sealed mail was ever handed off
enroute along the line to post offices. I operate branch lines that
would probably not support a RPO, but would have a combine or baggage
car to handle mail bags, etc. The remoteness and poor roads in much Rio
Grande territory seems to argue that this likely happened, but its
entirely possible it didn't, too. The PO is pretty particular about
securing mail and it may be that non-RPO cars didn't satisfy those
Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society Information: http://rgmhs.DRGW.org
Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society Home: http://www.drgw.org/
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