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Mail and express train operations

Learn how to add mail trains to your passenger service on your model train layout
RELATED TOPICS: PASSENGER TRAINS | MAIL
ErieLackawannamailtrainNo7passesthroughBinghamtonNYin1965withamixtureofheadendcars
Erie-Lackawanna mail train No. 7 passes through Binghamton, N.Y., in 1965 with a mixture of head-end cars.
J.J. Young
Head-end traffic helped cover some of the costs of America’s passenger trains for many years. Contracts with the United States Postal Service covered the transportation of mail, while the Railway Express Agency (REA) provided a nation- wide package delivery service.

Small-to-medium-sized railroads forwarded most of the mail in Railway Post Office (RPO) cars and packages moved in a baggage car on regular trains. Local postal employees met these trains to transfer mail on and off the “working” mail cars during the station stop, and
the train would wait for them to finish.

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