Mail Sorting and Delivery by Train


Jul 09, 2015 Europe/London
Mail sorting and delivery by train

The use of trains didn’t just change the way people move from one location to the next- the adoption of trains also changed the way mails are delivered. Thanks to railway trains, the increasing volume of mails that needed to be sorted and delivered on time was managed, giving way to another golden age for stamp collecting and philately. The popularity of using trains as platforms for sorting and mail delivery significantly gained traction right after the Civil War. It was the time when Railway Mail Service cars were customized and designed to accommodate these tasks. Trains cars were refurbished for this purpose alone.

To ensure that the mail operations could tap into the railroad systems, the Post Office required that post offices be established and located near railroad stations. This development started in 1900s, and soon the post office clerks who worked near railways were considered the best batches. They were respected primarily due to the nature of their work, thus a very selective admission were put in place. One requirement was to process 600 mail pieces in 60 minutes. To ensure that they perform well every time, regular tests and evaluation were given to these employees.

Even the working conditions faced by these postal employees were a test of skills. They were required to work while the train was moving, thus collaborative work skills were needed. To simplify the process of sorting postage stamps and mails, systems were put in place including their own version of private language. The use of codes and private language helped simplify the world of stamp sorting on board these trains.