Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 170 (International) - 08/28/15
This day in Railroad HistoryAugust 28, 1864
The first U.S. Railroad Post Office route was officially established when George B. Armstrong, the assistant postmaster of Chicago, Illinois, placed a postal car equipped for general distribution in service between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa, on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. Similar routes were established between other major eastern cities. When railway mail service began, mostly letter mail was sorted on the cars, which were not equipped to distribute other kinds of mail. By about 1863, other mail, except packages, was sorted as well. In 1930, more than 10,000 trains were used to move the mail into virtually every city, town, and village in the United States. Following passage of the Transportation Act of 1958, mail carrying passenger trains declined rapidly. By 1965, only 130 trains carried mail; by 1970, the railroads carried virtually no First-Class Mail.
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