Saturday, July 9, 2016

Articles on the establishment of travelling post offices in Queensland

Queenslander, Saturday 30 December 1876, p. 8
Arrangements have been completed by the Postal Department for "travelling post offices," in connection with some of the trains on the Southern and Western Railway. These post offices are to be in charge of mail officers, who will make up mails for the different stations, en route. Loose letters bearing a late fee of twopence, in addition to the ordinary postage, may be posted at the travelling post offices at any station, and all letters so posted, not bearing the late fee, will be charged double the amount of the late-fee rate, or four pence, on delivery. These travelling post offices will be a great convenience to persons residing near stations along the line. It must be borne in mind, however, that under the new arrangement, although mails may be sent by other trains than those enumerated, no loose letters will be taken under any circumstances by any other train than that to which a travelling post office is attached.
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Thursday 28 February 1884, p. 2
Residents along the Central Railway and country readers of this journal will doubtless hear with pleasure that sorting vans are to be established on the line. The department have acknowledged tho necessity of remedying the present unsatisfactory delivery of correspondence, and have decided to construct carriages each to be used solely as a travelling post office. A man will be placed in charge who will have the management of the postal business, and he alone will be responsible for the non-delivery of letters and papers along the line. It has not yet been agreed where the carriages are to be constructed, whether by contract or in the railway workshops here, but as they are urgently required it is probable they will be made in Rockhampton.
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Tuesday 5 August 1884, p. 4
On many occasions we have referred to the urgency that exists for the establishment of travelling post-offices on the Central line. Most of our readers have no idea of the amount of business that is transacted by the guards on trains at present. For their information we quote the following from the report of the Postmaster General, with reference to the business done on the Southern and Western Railway:-"The returns of the work performed by the travelling post offices show a satisfactory increase as compared with 1882. In letters posted there was an increase of 34,263; of letters registered in the usual way, of 349; of mails received, of 1750; and despatched, of 1281; while of letters received the increase was 42,673, and despatched 71,463. Newspapers and packets show a small decrease as compared with 1882, of 16,748; and letters officially registered, of 113." The report also states:-"The Railway Department having suggested that the guards on the Central Railway should be relieved of postal work, owing to the increase of other duties, it has been decided to extend the system of travelling post offices, now in operation on the Southern and Western Railway, to that line, so soon as the requisite carriages for the performance of the work can be built. It is expected that this will be carried into effect in July or August next."