Fast Mail Trains - Page 1
The railway mail service began in 1836, but it was not until 1864 that Colonel Geo. B. Armstrong suggested the plan, which was subsequently adopted October 2, 1876 of putting "post‑office cars" on the principal railroad lines. On the 28th day of August, 1864, the first postal‑car left Chicago for Clinton on a trial trip, and on the 31st of the same month it began running regularly. In October, 1864, improvements were made in the postal‑car, and a force of expert clerks from the Department at Washington were placed in the cars running between New York and that city. On the 9th of November post‑office cars were placed upon the lines between Chicago and Davenport, Ia., and Chicago and Dunleith, Ill On January 17, 1865, the Chicago‑ Burlington and Galesburg‑Quincy lines were established, and on May 22nd, the first railway post‑office service was put in operation on the Philadelphia‑Pittsburgh route. About the same time, or a little later, postal‑cars were placed upon all the principal lines leading out of Chicago, and also upon the Hudson River and New York Central Railroads, between New York, Albany and Buffalo, carrying and distributing along the line the Northern and Western mails.