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Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Norfolk & Western Railway Post Office Car Class M-1 #93

 
 
Norfolk & Western Railway Post Office Car Class M-1 #93 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 24, 2021
1. Norfolk & Western Railway Post Office Car Class M-1 #93 Marker
Inscription.  
Manufacturer: Bethlehem Steel Car Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1937
Length: 64 feet 5 inches
Trucks: 4-wheel, Roller Bearing

93 was one of nine Railway Post Office (RPO) cars purchased by Norfolk & Western (N&W) in 1937 at a cost of $24.597 each. It was sold to the Florida East Coast Railways in 1960-1961 but reacquíred by N&W in 1966. N&W Class M-1 Postal Car 93 was last used in the mid-1960s in Illinois.

The 93 was retired from service in 1968 in St. Louis, Missouri, where it had likely been used by the former Wabash Railroad, Wabash was leased by N&W in 1964 and purchased by Norfolk Southern in 1991.

Railroads furnished RPO cars as well as space in railroad terminals to the United States Post Office Department. The cars typically traveled with passenger trains and were located close to the engine.

Before the 1890s, mail cars had their own distinctive color schemes; later they were painted to match the style of the companies that owned them. By the 1950s, there were 3,200 RPOs in operation. They covered approximately 165,000 miles (93 percent of all long-haul

Norfolk & Western Railway Post Office Car Class M-1 #93 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 24, 2021
2. Norfolk & Western Railway Post Office Car Class M-1 #93 Marker
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mail) and required around 30,000 rail post office clerks to staff them.

A number of factors contributed to the decline of U.S. mail by rail during the 1960s. The introduction of the ZIP Code in 1963, the addition of regional sorting centers, and the growth of airmail all transformed the way mail was processed and delivered. The decline of rail passenger service also contributed to the end of the postal car. US Railway Post Office service ended on June 30, 1977, with the final trip between New York, New York, and Washington, D.C.
 
Erected by Virginia Museum of Transportation, Inc.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Postal Mail and Philately 📭 series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 30, 1977.
 
Location. 37° 16.386′ N, 79° 56.769′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Norfolk Avenue Southwest and 3rd Street Southwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 Norfolk Ave SW, Roanoke VA 24016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Norfolk & Western Class A #1218 (a few steps from this marker); Norfolk & Western Class CF Caboose #518302 (a few steps from this marker); Wabash E8A Diesel-Electric #1009

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(a few steps from this marker); Chesapeake Western ALCO T-6 Diesel-Electric #10 (a few steps from this marker); Virginian GE EL-C Electric Locomotive #135 (within shouting distance of this marker); Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Boxcar #2305 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1952 Squad Wagon (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk & Western ALCO RS-3 Diesel Electric #300 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roanoke.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 30, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 14, 2021