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Wash & Atlanta RPO
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CHESSIEMIKE
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Wash & Atlanta RPO
  WASH_ATLANTA_RPO_Train_16.jpg - 39553 Bytes
« on: Sep 5th, 2012, 9:35pm »
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Hoping to get some information on this RPO. All I know is it is from a letter that was sent to Tye River, VA in 1935. I assume the WASH & ATLANTA refers to the RPO route. I'm guessing this was a Southern Railway train. Any info would be great.
TIA,
CHESSIEMIKE


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3439
Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #1 on: Sep 6th, 2012, 7:52am »
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on Sep 5th, 2012, 9:35pm, CHESSIEMIKE wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hoping to get some information on this RPO. All I know is it is from a letter that was sent to Tye River, VA in 1935. I assume the WASH & ATLANTA refers to the RPO route. I'm guessing this was a Southern Railway train. Any info would be great.
TIA,
CHESSIEMIKE

 
CHESSIEMIKE -  
 
I'd say your estimation and conjecture is correct. Yes, it does reflect the RPO Route. Another clue is, "Train 16" in the mark.  
Likely it states a SOUTHERN RR line number in the Timetables. (A T/T should report as #15 and #16. SRS held to same  
numbers for many decades. Train #16 S/B an "Eastbound"?)
 
Also, the route is very old, and part of the "Southern Transcon Route" which joined Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans.  
Then, West of interchange over ESPEE Lines into San Francisco. (The venerable "Crescent" schedules.)
 
By the Time Line, SEABOARD RR service, Washington - Atlanta came much later.
 
Map Exercise? Get Mapping for Tye River, VA - Danville, VA. Routing of an old friend? Follows USH-29.
 
........................FWIW...................Vern......................


« Last Edit: Sep 6th, 2012, 8:28am by HwyHaulier » Logged

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George_Harris
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Posts: 3824
Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #2 on: Sep 6th, 2012, 10:17pm »
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on Sep 5th, 2012, 9:35pm, CHESSIEMIKE wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hoping to get some information on this RPO. All I know is it is from a letter that was sent to Tye River, VA in 1935. I assume the WASH & ATLANTA refers to the RPO route. I'm guessing this was a Southern Railway train. Any info would be great.
TIA,
CHESSIEMIKE

I was about to make some absolutely positive pronouncements on this subject until it hit me that some things did not quite add up when I looked at the 1945 Official Guide that I have and used for reference.
 
What can be stated with certainty is that Tye River  is a small point on the Southern Railway's Washington to Atlanta main line.  At that ttime the main was double track most of if not all of the distance between Washington and Atlanta and carried a heavy volume of passenger trains.  
 
A few points form the timetable:
....0.0 Washington DC
....8.2 Alexandria VA
112.2 Charlottesville
149.9 Tye River
162.5 Monroe
172.5 Lynchburgv VA
284.1 Greensboro NC
333.7 Salisbury
377.7 Charlotte NC
637.5 Atlanta GA
 
What doesn't add up to me is that hte postmark obviously says WASH & ATLANTA and TR 16.
 
Trains 15 and 16 were the Asheville Special in the 1945 OG and to the end of their days, and they did not go to Atlanta.  They left the main line at Salisbury NC to go west to Asheville NC.  Putting that aside for someone else to answer, I will now go on to what I can see about train 16 as it existed in 1945.  
 
I would have expected the number of trains in 1935 to not be that different frome the 1945 information I have other than the absence of the "The Southerner, Diesel-Powered Streamlined Coach Train" and a "diessel Powered" notation on a couple of other trains, not including train 16.
 
In the 1945 Official Guide there were 12 passenger trains in each direction on this line to as far south as Lynchburg where the 3 trains that went through East Tennessee diverged.  
 
No trains stopped in Tye River except the all stops locals, one each way, that took almost 14 hours to cover the 377 mile distance between Washington DC and Charlotte.
 
Train 16 left Monroe VA at 1:35am and arrived at Charlottesville at 3:00am, so it would have snagged the pouch off the catcher hook at about 1:55am.  Given the way the process operated, the pouch was hung up probably about 15 minutes before that.  As the train came through the RPo clerk kicked a bag out the door at about the same time so that it would drop, bounce and slide to a stop close to the catcher hook to be picked up and carried to the post office.
 
That the letter had an RPO post mark means that it was put into the mail bag by the station agent banded together with like pieces that people had brought to the station and dropped into a tray on the counter.  Thus it was individually sosrted and postmarked on the train.  It had not been through the local post office.   That suggests that despite its small size and lack of through train service that Tye River had a station and agent.  
 
The RPO's were exactly that.  Railway Post Offices.  They could take in individual letters that had not otherwise been through a post office.  
 
Being an RPO cleark was a hot/cold, dirty, noisy job.  You got to wear a 38 revolver on your hip and by doing so were expected to defend the mail with your life.


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CHESSIEMIKE
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Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #3 on: Sep 7th, 2012, 6:37am »
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Thanks guys for the information. The oldest Official Guide I have is dated 1959. I know the world went through a lot between 1935 & 1959 so was less than willing to depend on my guide for definitive information. If I get any more info I will update. Just a curiosity question if I could. The final destination for the letter was Tye River, VA, did the letter need to get dropped off there or could it have been dropped of at a station close to there for final delivery?
Thanks again,
CHESSIEMIKE


« Last Edit: Sep 7th, 2012, 6:44am by CHESSIEMIKE » Logged


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3439
Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #4 on: Sep 7th, 2012, 7:38am »
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George - CHESSIEMIKE -  
 
George, Thanks for excellent detail. Come to think of it, I have a S R S "Yellow Kit" (the all trains T/T schedules in the public folder) and dated 1938.  
 
A conjecture crossed my mind. That being, Salisbury an active point in daily operations. With some of the trains, various Cars in consists either  
came on or were switched out at the point, part of beyond handling. That suggesting, a "Washington and Atlanta RPO" was to/ from Atlanta, and  
traveled (Eastbound) on #16 at Salisbury and above.
 
I'll need to locate the 1938 Folder, and see what it might contain...
 
CHESSIEMIKE, yes, George detailed the enroute handling whereby a "Tye River" pouch would have come off at the point, and train not stopping...
 
......................Vern...................
 


« Last Edit: Sep 7th, 2012, 7:42am by HwyHaulier » Logged

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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3439
Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #5 on: Sep 8th, 2012, 1:13pm »
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George - CHESSIEMIKE -
 
Located my SEP 1939 date, S R S "Yellow Kit" folder, its Form LT. No. 381. In its style, it is a bit confounding. Not that difficult  
in satisfying needs of a Ticket Agent, or seasoned traveler. It is easy enough to establish schedules between a pair of points.
 
Where it gets baffling is in the tracing of use of particular Train Numbers. In one of the key Tables, Trains #15 & #16 shown as  
Cincinnati - Chattanooga (CNO&TP Line) schedule. Yet, spread over several Tables, use of same Train Numbers, between pairs  
of points not on the CNO&TP Line.
 
More, in Table 1, Tye River, VA shown (149.9 ml., as GH noted) on the Washington - Charlotte Line (SRCo). No reference to  
Trains #15 & #16 on the Line.
 
So that: I have no idea why the RPO Postmark displays "Train 16"! Ah! The mysteries of the old SOU (S R S). On the railroad,  
their wide use of various and distinct regional patois. That was a plot to baffle the Yankees! <G>
 
........................Vern.....................


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George_Harris
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Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #6 on: Sep 9th, 2012, 3:04am »
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Vern:
 
Trains 15/16 would not show up on Washington Charlotte because they did not get as far south as Charlotte.
 
Yes, Southern could be confusing.  One item truly confusing was their habit of using train numbers more than once.  Not on the same line, at least, but you could find the same number used on more than one train.  For example:  The Birmingham Special, which was numbers 17 and 18, even when on the N&W between Lynchburg and Bristol.  But, there was also a number 17 and 18 between Greenville and Columbia SC, a no-name local which in the mid 1950's still carried a through sleeper between Atlanta and Columbia, via Greenville, of course.  
 
Take the Kansas City Florida Special as an example of going in the other direction:  Through sleepers and coaches Kansas City to Jacksonville:  Kansas City to Birmingham, Frisco No. 105.  Birmingham to Atlanta, Southern No. 8, then out of Atlanta as Southern No. 7.  At Jesup GA, the No. 7 train number went to Brunswick, and the equipment on to Jacksonville went as No. 23, which was the number for the Skyland Special out of Asheville.  The real confusion was that there out of the Atlanta there was a train no. 7, the Kansas City Florida Special leaving late in the evening for Jacksonville and a train no. 7, the Kansas City Florida Special leaving early in the morning for Kansas City.


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3439
Re: Wash & Atlanta RPO
 
« Reply #7 on: Sep 9th, 2012, 7:44am »
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on Sep 9th, 2012, 3:04am, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
....Trains 15/16 would not show up on Washington Charlotte because they did not get as far south as Charlotte...

George -  
 
Thanks! On your remark, above: That should not be a problem. The Table 1 apparently not Condensed. It printed everything on the  
Line between Washington and Charlotte, AFAIK. An example, it includes an "all stops local" each way which made the Tye River  
point. Maybe best I review it again, and look for Trains which did not run the entire length reported.
 
Once into the S R S "Yellow Kit" of SEP 1939, the problems became quite apparent. It one of those "rainy day" research projects  
which would take the better part of the day to sort it all out. The Folder gives us a Trains #15 and #16 on the CIN - CHATTA Line.  
Internally, this always thought CNO&TP.  
 
As S R S, in fact, a collection of a number of larger lines, and many smaller properties. There appeared to be a tendency to use the  
same Train Numbers, in rationale, "...that's an AGS schedule...", and so on. Looking at the aging Folder now, any number of uses  
of Trains #15 and #16 on numerous System point pairs.
 
I'm resisting sitting down and trying to sort it all out. It would make for an afternoon, the moral equivalent of knitting, crossword puzzles,  
or a College Football game on TV. We have a Higher Power here at the house who may not be pleased with such trifling! <G> Anyway,
a possible presumption S R S did it to confound the Yankees! <G>
 
........................Vern.......................


« Last Edit: Sep 9th, 2012, 8:23am 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......
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