A Dangerous Job

The Railway Post Office clerks worked under conditions that could be life-threatening. The greatest danger was train wrecks. In order to protect passengers, mail cars were always placed between the locomotive and the first passenger car. Any train car in that location was usually the most severely damaged in an accident. As a result, Railway Postal clerks often bore the higher casualty rate in collisions or explosions.

Train robberies were also common because payroll traveled by mail. In 1920 alone, three dozen hold-ups netted over 6.3 million dollars.

Postcard that shows the wreck of a Fast Mail train on the Great Northern line. The wreck occurred near Wolf Point, Montana in 1934.