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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:40 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Railway Express Agency also offered air mail service and truck service. Truck service expanded their service areas and filled in gaps when the railroads began taking passenger trains off. Air Mail was obviously a premium service intended to compete with other express companies.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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But R.E.A. did transport only parcels and mail or did it did delivers for some goods? (like bicycles, radio and tv sets).

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
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Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
I did buy a used camping tent that had a Railway Express Agency shipping label pasted on its 6 foot long box.


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 564
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Railway Express Agency had long used trucks for local deliveries. As the rail passenger network contracted they covered former rail routes with trucks. In some cases, though, Railway Express moved in the caboose of the local freight.

Railway Express normally did not move mail. The US Post Office contracted directly with the railroads for mail. Otherwise Railway Express moved anything that met its size and weight requirements.

Railway Express did offer Air Express, naturally at a premium rate. Again, the US Post Office contracted directly with the air carriers for Air Mail.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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But what was the difference between fast and express freight?

I wonder what passanger cars where the 3rd and the 4th ones: https://www.startribune.com/why-does-th ... 561251221/
Could be something like the dining car from page 112: https://www.mnhs.org/places/safhb/pdf/e ... report.pdf

Intresting add: https://www.atticpaper.com/prodimages/bohn_ladymenu.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:31 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
djl wrote:
But what was the difference between fast and express freight?


Marketing terms. Freight is freight, but high value freight tended to move faster, and the sales department wanted people to know it. The fact that it has the word "freight" in the term means it was not "express", which in the US meant a parcel service that used passenger trains.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:50 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 564
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The photo on the Stone Arch Bridge is described in other publications as the first Empire Builder which would be in June, 1929. The third car appears to be a coach while the fourth appears to be a sleeper.

The Dining Car on Page 112 is a Northern Pacific car but the arrangements in a GN car would have been similar. It looks like the fifth car in the 1929 photo is a dining car. Note that the near end of the first (baggage) car is lettered "Baggage" while the far end is lettered "Railway Express Agency."

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:40 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Posts: 90
But there any chances too see closer pictures with the model of cars that made the consist of the 1st "Empire Builder"?

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
You might try to gain access to a copy of Some Classic Trains by Arthur Dubin and the companion volume More Classic Trains. I can't check which covers the Builder because my copies are packed for a move, but it is covered in one of those books. Dubin typically presents the history of the train, a variety of photos of the equipment, sometimes including floor plans, and follows the history through any upgrades or re-equipping to the ultimate termination of the service.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:00 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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I will see how I can buy that book. I'm living in Eastern-Europe.

Some short story about Black employees: https://saintpaulalmanac.org/2019/08/28 ... -railroad/

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Very high value freight often warranted the running of special trains on demand at passenger train speeds. Silk was a valuable commodity that warranted that service. The United States Railway Mail Service occasionally had to handle shipments of gold between US Treasury facilities on the West Coast and the East Coast. Those shipments required the marshalling of equipment and staff. The Railway Mail Service employees working those trains were armed with military rifles in addition to their service pistols.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:35 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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But how fast a fast train was going?
Why did U.S. Postal Service quited trains?

There is one drawing of a train stoped into a station. Two boys where speaking with the engenieer and there 2 girls/young women on bicycles and wihth pants (trouses) on the platform. Does any one haves a link to that picture?

Curiosity: on long (over 6-7 hours) day runs, did any U.S. passanger rail company offered sleeping accomodation?

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
djl wrote:
But how fast a fast train was going?
Why did U.S. Postal Service quited trains?

There is one drawing of a train stoped into a station. Two boys where speaking with the engenieer and there 2 girls/young women on bicycles and wihth pants (trouses) on the platform. Does any one haves a link to that picture?

Curiosity: on long (over 6-7 hours) day runs, did any U.S. passanger rail company offered sleeping accomodation?


Railroads had to compete for the mail contracts. Mail trains had running rights over everything else on the railroad. The Post Office quit using trains for the primary transportation of mail due to improvements in the sorting technology, decline of passenger trains due to competing modes of transportation and costs.

Mail trains ran at the same speed as passenger trains, except when late. The Postal Service imposed severe fines for every thirty minutes a train was late. Because of this, most railroad officials turned a blind eye to speeding if the train involved was a late mail train. This inevitably resulted in some bad accidents, such as the wreck of Southern Railway Mail Train No. 97 at Danville, Virginia. In that derailment, several postal employees and the entire train crew were killed. Over relatively flat territory, speeds of 90 to a hundred miles an hour were not impossible. Most crews knew where they had to strictly observe the speed limit and where they could safely exceed the speed limit.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Fast trains differed in speed depending on where they were. The PRR between Lima and Elida Ohio was straight and well-maintained. On June 12, 1905, a delayed Pennsylvania Special was clocked at 127.1 mph between the two points.

Freight trains generally could not make passenger train speeds. Generally the engines can't go that fast.

The US Postal Service (USPS) did not quit trains. The Railway Post Office car involved manual sorting of the mail and in 1977, the USPS admitted it could not move mail between NY and Washington as quickly as by using the RPO cars. However, the manual sorting was too expensive and the trains were discontinued. USPS continues to move mail in intermodal trains. First Class Mail generally moves by air.

Transcontinental trains going through carried their through sleeping cars in daylight, but these were in conjunction with their overnight service.

Some roads provided day parlor car service using sleeping cars. The old Section Cars were excellent for this but NYC used all-room lightweight sleepers. The passengers paid less than the sleeping car rate and were not authorized to use the beds.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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This have had to be a wonder when it camed out: https://www.shorpy.com/node/18299?size= ... al#caption
The car after it looks intresting.

This was wow!: https://www.shorpy.com/node/9954?size=_original
For most people times where bad back in nineteen o'five, but people got taste back then. Judning from what we have today, that looks like it was made by an extraterestrial civilization.
This one too (I looked for Pere Marquette I don't what car, so this is how I found the site): https://www.shorpy.com/node/9955

If you want to see more: https://www.shorpy.com/historical-railr ... ain-photos

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