Saturday, April 08, 2006

RPO no-rider rule

" ... The USPS required that the RPO be the first car behind the Engine/tender. This was to preclude any entry into the locked car, which might have occurred if behind the baggage car. The clerks were all armed with pistols when they rode the car, and were very protective of their turf! . They were very fussy as to who could get in, train crews were not allowed, so passengers were obviously prohibited. ... "

From: "Wendell Huffman"

The no-rider rule was there for a reason, as my grandmother's uncle Charlie Lane found out – the hard way. He was the Adams Express messenger on Pan Handle train 8 and made the mistake of letting a former fellow employee Charles Ferrell hitch a ride in the express car. When car 208 was opened upon arrival at Columbus, Ohio on 10 August 1900, the safe was empty and Lane was dead with three .38 slugs in his back. Ferrell needed the money for his wedding; instead he got the chair.


[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]