Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Dec 13th, 2017, 9:33pm
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Varnish
   Passenger Trains
(Moderator: coaster)
   Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts  (Read 228 times)
HSSRAIL
Enthusiast
View Profile  

Posts: 39
Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« on: Sep 5th, 2015, 10:25am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

A number of Rail Historians have been citing US Postal Mail Contract cancellations as the primary reason Private Railroads Discontinued Passenger Trains.
 
My general opinion is that the railroads made a move to exit the passenger business because their existing rolling stock was wearing out and they did not wish to buy new passenger cars.
 
A few examples should shed light on the mail contracts cancellation myth:
 
Leonard Murray in the 1961 Annual Report placed a comment that Soo Line was in the process of exiting from its unprofitable passenger service. Mail contracts on the Lake according to Abby's book "The Little Jewel" were cancelled in 1964. Obviously Soo Line can not cite Mail Contract cancellations as a reason it pulled off passenger trains since it made the decision to exit the passenger business prior to 1964.  
 
Frailey's book the Twilight of the Great Trains mentions mail contracts as the primary source of passenger train discontinuances except on page 127 in connection with the Augusta Special mentions that the post office needed 72 hours notice of discontinuing an RPO run "Claytor reported to Brosnan on August 5 that Addington was trying to persuade the Post Office to cancel the RPO run...
 
Day in his book "To Hell in a Daycoach" devoted quite a page or two pointing out that Railroads were the initiator of a lot of the discontinuances of mail runs.
While Day was unquestionably a biased critic of the rail industry. His allegations regarding Post Office Discontinuances of Mail Runs originating with the railroad companies have not been disapproved.


Logged
jmlaboda
Historian
Posts: 389
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #1 on: Sep 5th, 2015, 11:19am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Quote:
My general opinion is that the railroads made a move to exit the passenger business because their existing rolling stock was wearing out and they did not wish to buy new passenger cars...
 
Leonard Murray in the 1961 Annual Report placed a comment that Soo Line was in the process of exiting from its unprofitable passenger service...

 
Would most certainly be true of the Soo since, which, aside from a few lightweight baggage cars, the line was operating with heavyweights, some of which were repurposed from their original design.  Yet Soo continued to operate mixed train service on some branchlines into the Amtrak era, the last one lasting until 1986.
 
When speaking of aging passenger cars and the early 60s you have to keep in mind that most roads (Soo and Georgia RR being the exception) had hords of relatively new passenger cars at their disposal and it would have been the older heavyweights that would be the ones in need of replacement, not the newer lightweight cars, and, with few exceptions, the dropping demand for cars would have provided lines with a glut of cars that could be reassigned to cover what was needed.
 
Yet and still roads continued to use the older cars to help cover demand as well, largely because there was still that demand.  Whether a road chose to drop mail and express, like what Burlington, MKT and MoPac did before the shift of the bulk of the head-end traffic to trucks, or retain it, remains debatable but the fact remained that it was the discontinuance of such services that aided in the discontinuance of trains, irregardless of who initiated the exit from express and mail shipments.
 
And there are numerous examples of trains that still handled express and mail even after REA and USPS supposedly withdrew from shipping by rail... Southern Railway continued to handle bulk mail and express along some of its route into the Amtrak era (I shipped a package not long before I entered the Military in the early-70s by Southern between points still operating passenger service, utilizing the Tri-weekly Asheville train and the Piedmont) and a lot of trains still operated with multiple head-end cars up until Amtrak to handle such business.  More seemed to be true east of the Mississippi than west, though.
 
Each road looked upon the head-end traffic differently, that can't be denied.  Whose to blame?  Really hard to say except where documentation can be found dealing with this.  The end of privatized passenger service came after roads sought to loose whatever helped to keep the losses down... only history knows who were really the bad guys in this process but I am sure there were many on both sides.


Logged

jerry
Passenger Car Photo Index Updated 8/9/17 with 8,402 new links added!!!
Interurban Passenger Car Photo Index
Presidents' Conference Car Photo Index
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3444
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #2 on: Sep 6th, 2015, 11:03am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

HSSRAIL - Jerry - Lodge Members -
 
The Mail Contracts only one of the troubling issues. It did not help that REA traffic volumes lost by rail, especially post WWII. (See  
various "WIKI" entries for REA.)
 
BURLINGTON System? TRAINS magazine covered this in depth, some time back. In the era, CB&Q ZEPHYRS a highly developed  
system. Passenger Dept. asserted it made net money. Then, Lou  Menk came over from FRISCO. He saw, understood competitive  
threat of the Boeing 727 (the aircraft capable of serving LGA - NY at sea level, and mile high Denver). Menk went on to shut down the  
entire ZEPHYR System. And with it the busy, daily DENVER ZEPHYR...
 
New Equipment? Jerry remarked on it. A number of Railroads had much enthusiasm for potential passenger activity, following end of  
WWII. To document that few can foretell future, and number of Railroads received huge orders of new equipment. In no more than a  
decade, they learned by experience the equipment overbought.
 
Too, with a Railroad we get distinction between Freight and Passenger Departments. Let us agree the largest part of the Passenger  
markets in the Northeast, Central States, and much of Midwest. With the Railroads serving the points, there was so very much with  
heavy tonnages of Coal. The earnings from "Freight" side did well, and supported much General Overhead expense. It paid much of  
the daily bills and payrolls. The tonnage volumes went into serious decline post WWII.
 
.......................FWIW................Vern.............................


« Last Edit: Sep 6th, 2015, 3:20pm by HwyHaulier » Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #3 on: Sep 6th, 2015, 3:46pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Like most human endeavors, whether passenger service made money or not and what would make the difference between a money-maker and money loser varied from line to line.
 
However, passenger was certainly a labor-intensive and expensive business (In 1974 I was in the JAG School at Charlottesville). Southern had stayed out of Amtrak and was at that time running three passenger trains through Charlottesville. I took the train to Washington several times. Crescent was usually well-patronized  but not full. Piedmont carried a heck of a string of TOFC along with the passenger cars, many of the trailers carrying USPS markings. The third, un-named train had a single passenger car, a coach with zero amenities and a crew of three. Additional cars were one or two head-end cars carrying (presumably) express. See no way that one could possibly make a dollar - at least one of the times I caught it, I was the only passenger.
 
No way postal contracts filed to make a significant difference on the trains carrying RPOS, so any loss of that could well play the difference between breaking even or showing a profit and being a net loss.


Logged
jmlaboda
Historian
Posts: 389
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #4 on: Sep 6th, 2015, 4:47pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Quote:
No way postal contracts filed to make a significant difference on the trains carrying RPOS, so any loss of that could well play the difference between breaking even or showing a profit and being a net loss.

 
One thing that fails me and two things for sure... both Illinois Central and Rock Island converted a number of 22 Roomette cars to baggage - mail cars circa 1959 to 1964.  If there was no profit why bother?  It would have been cheaper by far to refurbish older heavyweights than it was to rebuild these cars into 60' mail apartment baggage - mail cars yet they chose these sleepers instead.
 
And in 1968 IC went on to convert these cars again to baggage - express (RPO fixtures removed but no changes to the carbodies).  
 
The Norfolk & Western went so far as to rebuild one of their former Wabash baggage - mail cars, WAB 460, to a full RPO with modifications to its carbody after the merger, with the car not serving very long before it was transferred to Maintenance of Way service where it served as a generator car (well into the Norfolk Southern era).
 
There has to be a reason but so far no one has sufficiently addressed to my satisfaction why these cars were done.  Railroads would not invest in such things if there wasn't some sort of profit.


Logged

jerry
Passenger Car Photo Index Updated 8/9/17 with 8,402 new links added!!!
Interurban Passenger Car Photo Index
Presidents' Conference Car Photo Index
CHESSIEMIKE
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4305
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #5 on: Sep 6th, 2015, 8:33pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Sep 6th, 2015, 4:47pm, jmlaboda wrote:       (Click here for original message)
There has to be a reason but so far no one has sufficiently addressed to my satisfaction why these cars were done.  Railroads would not invest in such things if there wasn't some sort of profit.
Well, I don't know for sure, but big companies do the strangest things for the weirdest reasons and profit can wind up taking a back seat.
Possible reasons:
1. We want to look like we are doing something to keep the business. Then, when it fails, "look, we tried..."
2. "I'll be long gone before they figure out what I've done. That will show them!"
3. Building new cars will be too expensive for something that won't work anyway. (See #1)
4. The shop has nothing to do, so find something to keep them busy.
And there could be many more.
I try not to hang fault on one thing when I look at a complex issue.
CHESSIEMIKE


« Last Edit: Sep 24th, 2015, 9:32pm by CHESSIEMIKE » Logged


Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3444
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #6 on: Sep 7th, 2015, 8:14am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Jerry - Lodge Members -
 
The (proved dubious) "22-R" (Roomette) Cars. For your excellent and continuing exhaustive work (not in any Bible as 'Book Of Streamliners')...  
Thought you might have some intuited beliefs about what was wrong with the "22-R" Cars. By the time they were in much service, they were  
answers to what became an irrelevent question?
 
The "22-R" Cars (IMHO) designed for strong ridership routes, on schedules which favored traveling business people. The berths at PULLMAN
First Class rates. So the "22-R" types addressed rather a very narrow market place. It worked fine on high volume routes ('lanes'), but then  
ideally on 350 to 700 miles rider trips. Post WWII, however, the shorter trips subject to diversion to private autos. The longer trips under very  
strong competitive pressures from the airlines.
 
From your work, by now you have surely noted particulars of exactly how and where the "22-R" types deployed. They were "business travel"  
designs. See your Notes on this. The "22-R" not so good for East or Midwest - Florida, or CGO - West Lines. These were casual "tourist"  
routes. Later, we had Trains which carried 'stripped out' "22-R" types, converted to Coaches.
 
The N&W issue about the nee' WAB Car? Not to forget N&W had very competent Shops at Roanoke. Built its own steam locomotives.  
CHESSIE MIKE has this one figured. It made for work at Roanoke.
 
In the period, there were a list of proved, very good Shops on several Railroads. Examples: The retired PULLMAN "12-1" Cars favored for  
conversion into Coaches. Shops at SOU, B&O, ACL and others did wonders in respective sites of the lines. The ACL conversions were  
marvelous. Modern looking Cars which had benefit of very good rides where deployed.
 
.......................FWIW....................Vern.........................


« Last Edit: Sep 7th, 2015, 8:17am by HwyHaulier » Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
Capitollimited
Chaser
Posts: 94
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #7 on: Sep 7th, 2015, 2:38pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

The statement that loss of mail contracts caused railroads to get out of passenger service is too broad for a single answer. There are several easily identifiable outcomes from loss of mail contracts. One was the loss of secondary or mostly mail trains. These were the workhorses that stopped at most towns and ran on a slower schedule. These were trains that usually left their terminals late in the evening or around midnight. They usually had coaches and few if, any amenities such as diners, lounges or pullmans. They were poorly patronized as far as ridership. One example was the last Chicago Great Western train from Omaha to the Twin Cities.  They normally carried 2-3 head end cars and a coach. I have read on the CGW yahoo group that there normally was less than five end to end riders. The average per trip was in the teens. Definitely  not enough to cover costs. After the Post Office made the decision to drop service from trains, the train was gone. Even on the New York Central, after the mail was put on trucks and planes, many of their trains were gone from lack of income.
 
However that would not explain the drop in service from short to midrange trains that had little or no mail anyway. An example may be Chicago to St. Louis trains. The C&EI got out early, but the Wabash, GM&O and IC still had multiple trains on the route both overnight and day time trains. After the opening of I-55, the number started dropping until both the IC and Wabash had pulled out before AMTRAK start up. Here the loss was directly attributable to auto speeds via the interstate system and airlines for the business class had shrunk the train riders and the need for more trains.
 
The need to replace cars was a real problem for a few roads, but not for the bigger haulers who had still been buying new equipment into the fifties.


Logged
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #8 on: Sep 7th, 2015, 7:38pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Sep 7th, 2015, 2:38pm, Capitollimited wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The statement that loss of mail contracts caused railroads to get out of passenger service is too broad for a single answer. There are several easily identifiable outcomes from loss of mail contracts. One was the loss of secondary or mostly mail trains. These were the workhorses that stopped at most towns and ran on a slower schedule. These were trains that usually left their terminals late in the evening or around midnight. They usually had coaches and few if, any amenities such as diners, lounges or pullmans. They were poorly patronized as far as ridership. One example was the last Chicago Great Western train from Omaha to the Twin Cities.  They normally carried 2-3 head end cars and a coach. I have read on the CGW yahoo group that there normally was less than five end to end riders. The average per trip was in the teens. Definitely  not enough to cover costs. After the Post Office made the decision to drop service from trains, the train was gone. Even on the New York Central, after the mail was put on trucks and planes, many of their trains were gone from lack of income.
 
However that would not explain the drop in service from short to midrange trains that had little or no mail anyway. An example may be Chicago to St. Louis trains. The C&EI got out early, but the Wabash, GM&O and IC still had multiple trains on the route both overnight and day time trains. After the opening of I-55, the number started dropping until both the IC and Wabash had pulled out before AMTRAK start up. Here the loss was directly attributable to auto speeds via the interstate system and airlines for the business class had shrunk the train riders and the need for more trains.
 
The need to replace cars was a real problem for a few roads, but not for the bigger haulers who had still been buying new equipment into the fifties.  

 
Southern did NOT enter Amtrak, and accordingly had to continue to operate trains, under the old rules. They did so, and in a classy way as I observed in 1974 and again in 1977.  But after the required "go it your own" period had expired AND it was looking like time to have to do some real expensive work on the fleet (including re-trucking the cars), it was cheaper to buy in to Amtrak and they did. Only the Crescent survived the conversion to Amtrak.


Logged
jmlaboda
Historian
Posts: 389
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #9 on: Sep 7th, 2015, 7:44pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Quote:
Only the Crescent survived the conversion to Amtrak.

 
The Piedmont was discontinued before Amtrak took over, in 1976.


« Last Edit: Sep 7th, 2015, 7:45pm by jmlaboda » Logged

jerry
Passenger Car Photo Index Updated 8/9/17 with 8,402 new links added!!!
Interurban Passenger Car Photo Index
Presidents' Conference Car Photo Index
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #10 on: Sep 8th, 2015, 7:46pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Sep 7th, 2015, 7:44pm, jmlaboda wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
The Piedmont was discontinued before Amtrak took over, in 1976.

 
Took the Crescent to Charlottesville in January, 1977. All SRR cars, and a Southern menu (got a copy) and service. AMTRK may have been joined the year before, but it was still Southern Service. Southern crew, too.


Logged
jmlaboda
Historian
Posts: 389
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #11 on: Sep 8th, 2015, 8:03pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

[reply]Took the Crescent to Charlottesville in January, 1977. All SRR cars, and a Southern menu (got a copy) and service. AMTRK may have been joined the year before, but it was still Southern Service. Southern crew, too.[/reply]
 
Amtrak did not take over the train until February 1979.


Logged

jerry
Passenger Car Photo Index Updated 8/9/17 with 8,402 new links added!!!
Interurban Passenger Car Photo Index
Presidents' Conference Car Photo Index
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #12 on: Sep 9th, 2015, 6:46pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Sep 8th, 2015, 8:03pm, jmlaboda wrote:       (Click here for original message)
[reply]Took the Crescent to Charlottesville in January, 1977. All SRR cars, and a Southern menu (got a copy) and service. AMTRK may have been joined the year before, but it was still Southern Service. Southern crew, too.[/reply]
 
Amtrak did not take over the train until February 1979.

 
Makes more sense. Raging snow storm in area, I was on the last flight into Washington Nat'l before they closed it (had been planning to cancel my flight to Charlottesville and take the train anyhow, but weather made it absolutely imperative unless I wanted to rent a car and drive or be AWOL).


Logged
Les_Shepherd
Historian
Posts: 425
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #13 on: Sep 12th, 2015, 8:17am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

With absolute respect to all contributors; this discussion seems to be more in the style of which came first; the chicken or the egg? It seems clear that each company took its decisions at varying times and for varying reasons.
 
I recall a visit 10 years ago when mail vans were added/detached from the Lake Shore Limited I think at Albany along with the Boston section.
 
The loss of the mail contracts by rail has been a disaster for the Post Office. What has happened in the US has been replicated here.
 
Almost to the end our Mail Trains were well patronised by passengers. They were at their strength in NSW. The trains carried sleeping cars as well as 1st & 2nd class compartment style sitting cars; but no food services. When the mails were taken off by the Post Office in 1987 the railways terminated there Parcels service and the Mail Trains came to an end.
 
Ever since mail has gone by road and air. In both our countries this has been a disaster for mail services. It can take many days for a letter to be delivered to an address only a few hundred miles away. On our east coast it can take 6 or 7 days for a letter to travel 700 miles and be delivered. This is using air services.  
 
Unlike in the US it would not be possible to resume mail carriage by rail here. This is because passenger services are almost exclusively provided by multiple unit trainsets. That is, with a driving unit at each end.
 
I note that on recent visits to Europe that they continues to have dedicated Mail Trains. They carry mails only; no passengers. Examples are the multiple unit TGV equipment in France as well as more simple equipment in the UK.
 
With our Post Offices stuck in the 1950's they do not seem to care about "customer service". It is no wonder that their letter business has largely moved to email. Staff and management attitude seems to be that they are a government operation and will continue to be subsidised for whatever surviving service they retain.


Logged

HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3444
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #14 on: Sep 12th, 2015, 11:09am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Les - Lodge Members -
 
Many Thanks for checking in from "Down Under". Your writer couldn't agree more.
 
Here Stateside, likely it a "fool's errand" to even think services of ages back could ever be restored.  
Myriad scheduled trains in a very large land mass which the US. Back in those days, it a truly  
complex system contrived to assure services at every point in CONUS...
 
More. With the highway carriers, the "De Regulation" of ca. 1980 wrecked a very elaborate system,  
especially in carriage of "LTL" (smaller) shipments throughout CONUS. The way it had been an  
elaboate network of myriad carriers, working together to assure "one bill" service throughout...
 
............................Vern...........................


Logged

Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #15 on: Sep 12th, 2015, 6:02pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Sep 12th, 2015, 11:09am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Les - Lodge Members -
 
Many Thanks for checking in from "Down Under". Your writer couldn't agree more.
 
Here Stateside, likely it a "fool's errand" to even think services of ages back could ever be restored.  
Myriad scheduled trains in a very large land mass which the US. Back in those days, it a truly  
complex system contrived to assure services at every point in CONUS...
 
More. With the highway carriers, the "De Regulation" of ca. 1980 wrecked a very elaborate system,  
especially in carriage of "LTL" (smaller) shipments throughout CONUS. The way it had been an  
elaboate network of myriad carriers, working together to assure "one bill" service throughout...
 
............................Vern...........................

 
Couldn't agree more with your comments, Vern.
 
Admittedly a somewhat special case, but there was a time  a business in New York City could put a letter on the 20th Century Limited almost at the last minute before its departure (there was actually a mail deposit slot in the RPO) and have it sorted for delivery upon arrival. With  an arrival around 9:00 AM and business district mail delivered around three times a day, noon or early afternoon delivery would take place (utterly certain if the rather expensive at the time SPECIAL DELIVERY was used). A reply could have made an east-bound that afternoon, and been delivered next day in NYC, probably in the mid-day or perhaps afternoon delivery. All for 3 cents an ounce ordinary first class mail, though you might have to go to the station to make sure it got that day's train.
 
Try that now...


Logged
Les_Shepherd
Historian
Posts: 425
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #16 on: Sep 13th, 2015, 3:29am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Clyde, your mention of the delivery slot on the 20th Century reminded me of our own version.
 
Almost to the last you could post a letter in the Late Fee box at Central station or in the slot on the mail van on the train. When I first entered the workforce the "old timers" always recounted their early years (up to the mid 1950's) when the last duty of the day was to take the interstate mail to Central and post it on the overnight Melbourne Express departing at 8.00pm. Airmail saw this come to an end.
 
It now takes up to 6 or 7 days for a letter to make the same trip by air. It has occurred to me that for an important letter one could take it down to Central with a couple of banknotes and hand it to the Guard on the overnight XPT to Melbourne. It would be in the street mailbox in Melbourne by 7.30am and certain delivery by the next morning.
 
So much for progress.


Logged

ClydeDET
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 4794
Re: Mail Contract Cancellations and Passenger train cuts
 
« Reply #17 on: Sep 16th, 2015, 5:36pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Sep 13th, 2015, 3:29am, Les_Shepherd wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Clyde, your mention of the delivery slot on the 20th Century reminded me of our own version.
 
Almost to the last you could post a letter in the Late Fee box at Central station or in the slot on the mail van on the train. When I first entered the workforce the "old timers" always recounted their early years (up to the mid 1950's) when the last duty of the day was to take the interstate mail to Central and post it on the overnight Melbourne Express departing at 8.00pm. Airmail saw this come to an end.
 
It now takes up to 6 or 7 days for a letter to make the same trip by air. It has occurred to me that for an important letter one could take it down to Central with a couple of banknotes and hand it to the Guard on the overnight XPT to Melbourne. It would be in the street mailbox in Melbourne by 7.30am and certain delivery by the next morning.
 
So much for progress.

 
So much for progress? Yes, - a raised middle finger to it, perhaps....


Logged
Pages: 1  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »