RPOs and REA cars on Bristol line

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri May 20 11:17:41 EDT 2022

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, 01:32:22 AM EDT, Andre Jackson wrote:

"Hi all, I was chatting via Zoom with a local group of model railroaders?about my proposed model trackplan for a 1957-era Bristol yard. One of them asked whether RPOs, and/or REA cars were routinely set out/picked up in Bristol? And I had to admit I did not know. We collectively theorized that the RPO?s on the run-through N&W/Southern trio of named trains likely arrived and departed Bristol without any such swaps. Is that correct, ye who were there in days of passenger service? The question did raise in my mind the locals that the N&W and Southern ran, which originated or terminated in Bristol? Did they routinely include working RPOs? I know they carried mostly head-end traffic; much of it seemingly storage mail, based on car types in photos I've seen. To sum it all up, were RPO?s and/or REA cars routinely?added/subtracted/stored at Bristol?"

As others have mentioned, some RPO cars ran through Bristol while others laid over.  For example the WASHINGTON & BRISTOL RPO usually had a 60-feet RPO.  The BRISTOL & CHATTANOOGA RPO had some trains that were only 30-feet apartment cars.

Others have not mentioned the ABINGDON & WEST JEFFERSON RPO.  The mixed train operated out of Bristol despite its route name, so the 15-feet apartment RPO laid over in Bristol between trips.

The specific year makes a difference about space assignments, so if Andre is modeling a specific era, a better answer can be provided.

Good morning,

Frank Scheer
f_scheer at yahoo.com 

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