US RPO cars into Canada or Mexico

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US RPO cars into Canada or Mexico
Posted by NP Eddie on Saturday, July 25, 2020 5:14 PM


Did US RPO cars do into Canada or Mexico or did only locked storage cars enter those countries?  I am thinking of the GN or SOO into Vancouver, BC or Winnipeg, MB respectively. Was there any USA to Mexico storage mail cars via MP to Laredo for the Mexican mail traffic.

Ed Burns

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, July 25, 2020 6:32 PM

CN/CV and D&H carried storage mail across the border but the RPOs were only worked as far as the nearest border town (St. Albans VT (St. Albans & Springfield RPO) and Rouses Point NY (Albany and Rouses Point RPO, respectively).  I know Soo Line carried an RPO to Noyes, but the Railway Mail Service crews probably turned there even if the RPO cars didn't.  On CN's Grand Trunk a CN-owned RPO labeled "United States Mail Railway Post Office" worked south of Isand Pond NY on the "Portland & Island Pond RPO".  CN-owned cars also worked the CV/CN routes.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 4:31 PM

Yes, the RPO workers were US Postal Service employees, not railway employees, so they would not go outside the US. Since RPOs were only used to sort mail en route, I would guess they wouldn't have been sent across the border, although storage cars (storage boxcars or baggage cars) would be able to go across.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 7:17 PM

CN RPOs regularly crossed the border but were only worked on the U.S. Side.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 8:29 PM

New York Central ran RPO's in Canada on the Canada Southern but I believe they were only within the border. They also ran many storage mail trains across Southern Ontario between Buffalo and Detroit and if they had an RPO aboard they would have been sealed. 

See the Canada Southern website for postcard cancellations. I do wonder if they ran one into Ottawa as well. Very little info about this branch which was quite a valuable asset at one time. 

Also Canadian Pacific and Canadian Northern ran RPO's in Southern Manitoba in concert with the Great Northern right to the border.




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