Amtrak and the USPS

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

Amtrak and the USPS

Postby AMTK822401 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:56 pm

Hello Amtrak Forum,

I read recently that the USPS briefly had a contract with Amtrak to move mail on some of it's passenger trains until a few years ago. Since I was recently hired by the USPS I was wondering what kind of agreement and service was enacted where and when, that is, if anyone knows more about it.
Last edited by AMTK822401 on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AMTK822401
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:17 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby SemperFidelis » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:23 pm

AMTK822401 wrote:Hello Amtrak Forum,

I read recently that the USPS briefly used contracted to move mail on some of it's passenger trains until a few years ago.


And maybe again in a proper sentence, good sir? :-D

I swear I am not trying to be a jerk or a clichéd internet forum grammar troll, and with all of my meds in my system right now I might be missing something that is obvious to others suffering fewer chemical influences. I honestly don't know what you mean by this sentence.
SemperFidelis
 
Posts: 1316
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:49 pm
Location: Stupid Voterland

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:32 pm

There were certain classes of Mail that are palletized and shipped in the Baggage cars,There was the failed Express expansion with the MHC's
and Roadrailers,that raised objections by the Host RR's.
Believe Mr Gunn put a stop to the Express expansion.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 4816
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:55 pm

At the peak of the Mail & Express (M&E) operations was 1980s-2005, with later 90s a larger business. The Three Rivers from 1996-2005 was basically a mixed freight with a few coaches, sleeper and dinette added on, included many roadrailers and MHCs. Two orders of MHCs (boxcars) were delivered in 1986 and 1988. There were two daily NEC M&E trains, 12 (now 190/150) and 13. Both carried first class between northeastern points (between NY and New England for example) and second class (bulk mail, periodicals) pallets. Most LDs had MHCs (and some cases roadrailer trailers as well). One legacy of the M&E period was a stillborn "Skyline Connection" mixed train between Philadelphia and Chicago (via PIT/CLE) that was due for 2001 launch and planned to tap into the express freight market as a companion to Three Rivers. USPS switched mostly to trucking (and commercial airlines for first class long distance).

Most of the MHCs have been sold off and ExpressTrak reefer service was gone by 2006. Gunn announced major cuts to M&E in 2005 to improve OTP and reduce costs, particularly at major terminals.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 4941
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby AMTK822401 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 pm

SemperFidelis wrote:
AMTK822401 wrote:Hello Amtrak Forum,

I read recently that the USPS briefly used contracted to move mail on some of it's passenger trains until a few years ago.


And maybe again in a proper sentence, good sir? :-D

I swear I am not trying to be a jerk or a clichéd internet forum grammar troll, and with all of my meds in my system right now I might be missing something that is obvious to others suffering fewer chemical influences. I honestly don't know what you mean by this sentence.


You sir, read the results of totally flipping my sleep schedule in a day. :P
AMTK822401
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:17 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby David Benton » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:08 am

A study a few years ago , by the GAO(?), found the USPS could save a few million by using rail more. I don't think Amtrak was specifically mentioned, possibly they were thinking more along the lines of piggyback trailers on Freight.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 7983
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby EuroStar » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:12 am

I am under the impression that UPS uses rail for some of their shipments. Given that USPS is looking more and more like a parcel company than first class mail company, I am would not be surprised if freight rail makes sense for them. Freight is probably too slow for first class mail, but should be ok for most parcels. I do not think Amtrak should get into the mail business though. They have enough on their plate to handle. I do not know if Fedex uses or has ever used rail in the past.
EuroStar
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby Railjunkie » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:44 am

Snail 12 and 13 I mean mail 12 ans 13. The last "mail" trains on the NE Corridor. Died late 90s.

I do remember doing mail work at Buffalo Depew. Mostly third class stuff, but every once in a while a pallet of stamps would show up. That was always fun passengers would start to get nervous when the postal service would show up with shot guns and such. Roadrailers, mail Blackburn had the contract for the trailers Ive heard of razors sneakers and such being in there also. However for he last few years of service. anytime I read the manifest they were always listed as dunnage industrial sand.
Railjunkie
 
Posts: 976
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:41 pm

The freight railroads haul trainloads of other than first-class mail, which is loaded into trailers at mostly outlying facilities with excellent highway access and trucked to the railroad's intermodal terminal. Back in the day the proximity of postal sorting centers and major stations (e.g., New York, Philadelphia) simplified transfer between the post office and passenger trains, but now the PO is in the suburbs (in Philadelphia, the former 30th St. post office is now the regional office of the IRS, and the tunnels and passageways to the platforms at 30th St. Station are unused. The USPS sorting center is now out near the airport).
ExCon90
 
Posts: 3584
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:24 pm

ExCon90 wrote:Back in the day the proximity of postal sorting centers and major stations (e.g., New York, Philadelphia) simplified transfer between the post office and passenger trains, but now the PO is in the suburbs (in Philadelphia, the former 30th St. post office is now the regional office of the IRS, and the tunnels and passageways to the platforms at 30th St. Station are unused. The USPS sorting center is now out near the airport).
The major cities on the NEC, Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston all had their main post office stations at or adjacent to the railroad station (I believe Chicago, Pittsburgh and St. Louis as well). There were connections between Penn Station and the Farley building for mail transfer and even Farley had its own mail platforms beneath.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 4941
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:30 pm

EuroStar wrote:I do not know if Fedex uses or has ever used rail in the past.

They do.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2626
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:10 pm

The Fed -Ex Ground services are heavy intermodal users,not at the same level as UPS.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 4816
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby litz » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:05 pm

UPS has enough use that they rate entire hotshot trains.

Can be interesting when there's a derailment on the line, and you find your package listed in the UPS tracking as "Exception - Train Derailment". Luckily for most users, it's another train causing the delay and it wasn't the hotshot itself that derailed ... ;-)
litz
 
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:39 pm

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby RRspatch » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:19 am

Backshophoss wrote:The Fed -Ex Ground services are heavy intermodal users,not at the same level as UPS.


Drop off a package at UPS on a Friday and request "next day air" (which means delivery on Monday) your package will "fly" across the country at an altitude of about 10 feet. Every Saturday and Sunday night when I started my 3rd trick shift we were all given a list of HOT Z trains that had "air loads" on them and could NOT be delayed. Not everything in those containers is "ground".
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just a freight train coming your way

No leaf clover ~ Metallica.
RRspatch
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:22 am
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Amtrak and the USPS

Postby Tadman » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:46 pm

Funny you mention that. Summers in college I did a lot of work in the shipping/receiving department of a machinery company. We were under instructions to save a bit of money, especially for intra-company shipments. If it had to leave Friday and get there Monday, it went ground or second day because we knew it would get there on the same path as the overnight stuff. Never failed once.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8633
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am
Location: Michigan


Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests