Rolling Post Office

Rolling Post Office (HM1RZP)

Location: Brodnax, VA 23920 Brunswick County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 43.05', W 78° 0.55'

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Until about 1967, the U.S. Postal Service used the railroads to handle mail on designated routes. The mail was handled in special railroad cars usually moved on passenger trains, designated as Railway Post Office (RPO) cars. The RPOs were actually post offices on rails and staffed by postal employees. Mail was sorted en route on the moving train. Sorted mail pouches were delivered to stations when the train made a stop or thrown off as the train passed.

The operation of handling mail as a station without stopping was called "mail-on-the-fly." It was used where the exchange of mail was too small to justify the stopping of a train and allowed trains to exchange mail without slowing down. At the station mail was placed in a heavy canvas catcher pouch, which the station agent hoisted to the arm of the mail crane located beside the tracks.

As evidenced by the postcard above, a mail route operated on the Atlantic & Danville corridor probably through the 1940s when the Southern Railway operated passenger trains over the railroad. Handling of mail over the A&D ended with termination of passenger service by the Southern Railway in 1949.

Top to Bottom:
· 1932 postcard shows the cancellation stamp for a mail route on the N&D Railroad William E. Griffin Jr.
· Catcher pouch waiting for pick upWilliam E. Griffin Jr.
· Interior of a Seaboard Air Line Railway postal car where the clerks sorted the mailWilliam E. Griffin Jr.
· Train Official operates the catcher arm for mail deliveryWilliam E. Griffin Jr.
· SAL No. 4 in Bracey, VA Wiley M. Bryan
Placed ByTobacco Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 1st, 2016 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 767128 N 4067705
Decimal Degrees36.71750000, -78.00916667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 43.05', W 78° 0.55'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 43' 3" N, 78° 0' 33" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Tobacco Heritage Trail, Brodnax VA 23920, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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