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Second Division Schedule of Mail Routes issued by the Railway Mail Service covering New Jersey and New York
plus a new DVD titled
Delivering the Promise
Railway Post Office (RPO) clerks and other post office clerks used this Second Division "Schedule of Mail Routes" from 1951 as their employee timetable for dispatching mail via Railway Post Office (RPO), Highway Post Office (HPO), Star Routes (SR), railroad Closed Pouch (CP), Motor Vehicle Service (MVS), or Mail Messenger (MM) runs operating within a division. The front cover is shown above.
A schedule has several parts. These are:
The table of contents includes an index of all Railway and Highway Post Office routes within the schedule book. Star Route schedules are also listed. There are also tables which define the notes that appear in schedules.
TIMETABLES FOR EACH ROUTE
The majority of schedule pages are the timetables for each RPO, HPO, CP, and SR, arranged alphabetically by the first name in the route title. Each timetable lists the contractor operating the route, mileage, size of RPO apartment (if applicable), schedules showing orgin and destination terminals as well as principal intermediate cities or junctions, and a pouch list of additional dispatches made to connecting routes or to post offices off the line of travel.
CLOSED POUCH MAILS
Within this section, dispatches made from major post offices and Postal Transportation Service Terminals are listed. Just about every passenger train on all railroads carried Closed Pouch (CP) mail, either in storage mail cars on within the baggage car in the custody of a Baggage Master. In this era, more than 90 percent of all first class mail and newspapers traveled via passenger or all-mail and Railway Express trains. These pages aid a rail historian or postal researcher in unlocking the trains over which mail was handled. The train numbers align with those found in a railroad's employee or public timetables, so that times at specific locations not shown in these pages can be determined.
AIR MAIL and/or FOREIGN MAIL DISPATCHES
The final major section of a schedule is information about how air mail and/or foreign mail was separated and dispatched.
Schedules were issued approximately five times each year. The issue number was consecutive from the first issue for that division. A postal clerk used this information in conjunction with a state General Scheme to route mail to each post office.
The employee timetable measures 4 inches wide by 8-1/2 inches tall, with card covers. The schedule is in good overall condition. I recommend to anyone who has schedules that they should be kept in polyethelene sleeves or a plastic bag to reduce cover damage and protect against vermin. The information contained herein is not found elsewhere. These schedules were only issued to Post Office Department staff, but the Manager, Mail & Express of each railroad often received a courtesy copy.
This schedule is a duplicate of one already in the RMSL collection. It is being sold to raise funds for utility, repair, and mainenance expenses at the former Norfolk and Western Railway station at Boyce, Virginia, the RMSL's home. There is a small red "x" at the bottom of the outside rear cover that indicates it has been reviewed by the RMSL and deaccessioned. For each additional lot, only $2 is charged for incremental postage. There is never a reserve for any of my sales.
A 28-minute movie, MEN AND MAIL IN TRANSIT, was produced by the Post Office Department as a training film in 1956. It shows all aspects of how Railway Postal Clerks did their work aboard a Railway Post Office (RPO) car. MAIL IN MOTION runs 18 minutes. It is a 1956 educational film developed by the National Postal Transport Association (NPTA). The NPTA was the successor to the Railway Mail Association (RMA) after 1949. In addition to RPOs, MAIL IN MOTION describes the work performed at Terminal RPOs, Air Mail Facilities (AMF), and Highway Post Offices (HPO). Most of the railway scenes in both movies were filmed on the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad between Washington, DC, and Cumberland, Maryland.
Here are some sample video clips from these films at
MEN AND MAIL IN TRANSITintroduction to the Postal Transportation Service hanging the catcher pouch at Kensington, Maryland making the catch aboard a train demonstrating a throw and catch
a substitute's first catch
MAIL IN MOTIONthe substitute clerk's first trip on a RPO making a non-stop exchange
These video clips aren't the same high resolution as the digital recordings on this disk, which are broadcast quality. They only hint at the interesting material that rail historians and postal researches will find in these programs. The DVD has a menu but is also designed so that it will play as a continuous loop without prompting. This makes it suitable for hands-free video displays at rail museums.
The DVD is professionally produced by Sony DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana. It has been prepared from the best available prints of these 16 mm films, copied to beta masters, then converted from analog to digital recordings. There is no region code on this DVD, so this disk is guaranteed to work on a DVD player anywhere in the world. Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed. If not pleased, you may return the DVD in good condition and receive a full refund including your return postage.
Ordinarily, the DVD alone sells for $18.99, which covers the preservation of the original films at the Railway Mail Service Library. It also includes the conversions and all costs to produce these high-quality DVDs.The proceeds from the schedule and DVD benefit restoration of the Boyce, Virginia, railway station as well as monthly utility expenses. The $4 domestic mailing cost via USPS Media Mail covers postage with the remainder going towards packing and private parcel insurance. Your purchase is insured against loss or damage en route. If you are outside the USA, please add US$15.00 to the purchase price for International First Class Mail to an address anywhere in the world. I'll ship by the lowest cost means and if actual mailing expenses are at least $2.00 less, I'll make a partial refund via PayPal. The incremental domestic shipping cost for additional lots is $2 for each one. Please add US$4.00 for each extra lot if shipping is to an address outside the USA.
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