Mail Cranes - Another Riddle!

An open forum to discuss all aspects of the AC&Y's Structures and Facilities.
User avatar
Luke
Forum Moderator
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 9:00 pm

Mail Cranes - Another Riddle!

Postby Luke » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:57 pm

The Northern Ohio-AC&Y operated passenger “mixed” trains for some 50-years until July 1951, primarily to handle U.S. mail under contract. To minimize train stops and starts, mail cranes were positioned at many "flag stop" stations to pick up mail “on-the-fly.” In 1928, five unique “Columbian” steel mail cranes were acquired and installed at Rushmore, Sycamore, Chatfield, Litchfield and Sharon Center replacing older wood mail cranes. The original wood-type mail cranes remained at Copley, Fairlawn and likely other flag stop stations. Curiously, not one of these mail cranes had ever appeared in any AC&Y depot photo. Its a vexing mystery of which there is no doubt an answer?
Attachments
Bob Lucas #1166 - Copy.jpg
Willis McCaleb photo of Sycamore dated Sept. 25, 1949 from mick Kopach
Bob Lucas #1166 - Copy.jpg (75.28 KiB) Viewed 2846 times
scan0001 - Copy.jpg
Columbian Steel Mail Crane
scan0001 - Copy.jpg (65.12 KiB) Viewed 2846 times

User avatar
West End
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Re: Mail Cranes - Another Riddle!

Postby West End » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:21 am

Bob,

I think the answer is simple. They were installed and used for a very short time. They were retired and removed rather quickly. How much mail traffic was the AC&Y really moving to towns like Rimer and Vuaghnsville anyway?

Chris

User avatar
Luke
Forum Moderator
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 9:00 pm

Re: Mail Cranes - Another Riddle!

Postby Luke » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:22 pm

Chris,
Yes, it's possible the mail cranes at flag stop stations were removed, although there are other clues. Mail crane retirements took place in 1950 under AC&Y-AFE-A-353 coincidental with loss of the US Postal Service contract. Also, the two ex-Mississippi Central RPO's (#262 pictured) acquired in 1943 had doorway mail catchers. Photos show the earlier RPO's also equipped with this device. Lastly, the Bill Hanslik story on Litchfield (Spring 1999 AC&YHS NEWS) mentions that AC&Y's legendary station agent Bill Baish ran the U.S. Mail route (service). That seem to indicate that mail to/from Litchfield was still handled on the mixed trains. This may be one riddle for the ages? REL
Attachments
cook photo.jpg
AC&Y RPO #262 - Richard Cook Photo - Ca 1950
cook photo.jpg (94.82 KiB) Viewed 2830 times


Return to “AC&Y Structures & Facilities”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests