Another Rail Ride for Mail on Shortest RPO Route

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Since we have been talking about Railway Post Office service, I thought you might like to see this.

This postcard was mailed via the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western’s Summit & Gladstone R.P.O. route on April 13, 1954.

This was reportedly the shortest R.P.O. route in the United States at 22 miles in length.

Trains still operate over this line as New Jersey Transit’s Gladstone Branch, but the mail is no longer carried. Since the 1930s, trains on this line have been electric MU cars and the Lackawanna had RPO trailer cars that were attached to the MU trains.

As you can see, the RPO was carried on train No. 426. The Gladstone Branch today is a busy NJ Transit commuter line.

NJT still runs a train 426 over the Gladstone Branch. Last April 13 I took this postcard for a ride on train 426 over the very same route it traveled in 1954. Who says you can’t go home again?

Article and Photograph by Jack Norris

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