Report Recommends Trains for the Postal Service

The Post Office once used trains but no more, unlike the United Parcel Service (UPS). A new reports recommends that the Post Office return to their past, though not necessarily sorting the mail on the train like you might see in a rail museum.
November 11, 2014, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Ever since the United States Postal Service decided to abandon its long relationship with the nation’s railroads in favor of trucking the mail, there have been questions raised about the breakup," writes Bill McAllister of Linn's Stamp News & Coin World.

A new report by the Postal Service’s inspector general raises that question once again, arguing that in the case of New Jersey mail the agency could save about $10.8 million a year by diverting some long-distance truck trips to rail.

Great Northern Railway Post Office Car No. 42, California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento

No one is suggesting a return to streamlined baggage-mail cars like the one shown above built for the Great Northern Railway that visitors can walk through at the California State Railroad Museum. Rather, they presumably would be truck trailers carried "piggyback," like the CSX Hot UPS Train (on You-Tube) as we noted in a post last year on rail's resurgence.

"The inspector general argued that postal management should more carefully test its assumptions about rail, and review rail options more consistently," writes McAllister.

Don't expect to see United States Postal Service trailers carried on a train soon, regrettably. "Postal management didn’t like that conclusion and argued against the IG’s recommendation," notes McAllister, though they "did agree to consider some of the recommendations."

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Published on Saturday, November 1, 2014 in Linns.com
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