RPO pick-up

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by D.R.Rosser, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. D.R.Rosser

    D.R.Rosser Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have 2 passenger trains on our layout. Both include RPO cars. Does anyone know where I can get a picture of the rack or frame that held the mail bag that the hook picked up. If I had a picture I could build one, with bag, and install it near the station. All help appreciated; thanks in advance.Dave
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's one.

    Attached Files:

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice shot! you caught it right after the bag snatch.
    Operational comments: The bag holder (land side) was rotatable. The mail pouch was installed on it while it was turned sideways to the track so it was out of the way of any other trains. When the mail train approached it was swung into position.
    The upper arm was fixed but the lower arm was a weight to hold the pouch straight. When the bag was snatched the lower arm gave enough to release it and then dropped away. I'm not sure if it slid up and down the post.
    I'm also not sure if the posts were always on the same side of the track. I think that the RPO section was always run in the forward position in a baggage/RPO car (for security, you know). edit: ( just looked at the photo again. Apparatus on the left and RPO section trailing the train.)
    There's a lovely British film (Night Mail ?) showing inside train operations. There's a sequence of them hanging the bags out of the TPO (Travelling Post Office) where the supervisor tells the clerk "Now after we pass X, three overbridgesthe count 17 seconds." You hear 3 swooshes, then the count, the apparatus is swung out and WHANG!
  4. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would point out that there are at least a couple of the railroad details manufacturers who offer both the RPO car's hook and the station's mail pouch mast...complete with bag!

    CNJ999
  5. D.R.Rosser

    D.R.Rosser Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    RPO Info

    Thanks to all! With the picture and suggestion to check suppliers I will build or buy. One way or the other I will have it installed. Thanks again. Dave
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just imagine mailing your Lionel Hudson back for service that way. :eek:
  7. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    baggy mail

    It used to take three to four days for mail to cross the country; now it takes a week to move it a couple of hundred miles! Go figure! :confused::confused::confused:
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mail is not the same since it came off the trains... There's one story in "In Search of the K & P" (about the Kingston & Pembroke Rwy) about the mail getting picked up and all the letters for the next town getting sorted and put off the train at the next stop. You don't get service like that any more...

    Andrew
  9. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    FWIW, unless your two trains are going to two different cities, you'd be more likely to see two RPO's one one train than one on each train. For example on the old Great Northern the Empire Builder and Western Star went over the same route, but only the Western Star carried the mail...often quite a few cars worth!!
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think local mail has suffered since it came off the rails and went to planes. Coast to coast mail is probably faster unless the post office's automated machinery chews up a letter during processing. It might well be faster to send a letter from Los Angeles to New York than it is to send a letter from Los Angeles to Modesto.
  11. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    1