Ferroequinately

Ferroequinately is a term that, as far as I know, has not been used anywhere else. It is a portmanteau of "ferroequinology" and "philately" and roughly means "the study of trains on stamps and of railway mail service operations.

Member of the APS
APS # 206896

Since I'm a philatelist (and a member of the American Philatelic Society), and a model railroader, I'll include occasional columns about some of the items in my collection. Most of time, the columns will include data on the prototypes that are shown on the stamps and covers.

So, let's explore topical collecting with trains and RPO items!

Virtual catalogue

There have been a few thematic catalogues of trains on stamps, but from what I've seen, they aren't updated as often as we would like them to be.  For example, the most recent Domfil catalogue that I know about is the 2nd edition from 2001.  So, this subset of pages will show as many stamps as I can scan that are related to rail transport worldwide.  This is a work in progress, and since there are always a couple new issues related to this topic listed in each issue of Scott Stamp Monthly, I don't expect it to be complete at any time.

The stamps are arranged by the country of issuance, regardless of whether the country exists as a sovereign nation today or not.  On each of the country pages, they are arranged by issue date and grouped by sets as shown in the Scott catalogues.

Stamps from countries beginning with A

Stamps from Australia

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
May 7, 2010 The Ghan 3254
3258
       
May 7, 2010 West Coast Wilderness Railway 3255
3259
       
May 7, 2010 The Indian Pacific 3256
3260
       
May 7, 2010 Kuranda Scenic Railway 3261        

Stamps from Austria

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
September 29, 2012 Mittenwald Railway centenary 2400        
October 15, 2012 Raab-Oedenberg-Ebenfurth Railroad concession 140th anniversary 2406        

Stamps from countries beginning with B

Stamps from Belarus

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
August 1, 2012 Belarussian Railway 150th anniversary 834        

 

Stamps from Bhutan

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
August 24, 2005 "200 Years of Trains" (one sheet of 4 and one souvenir sheet)

1405 (sheet of 4)
1405a (P36 #97)
1405b (VIA F40 #6428)
1405c (InterRegio)
1405d (Amtrak #464)

1406 (P36 #32)

       

Stamps from countries beginning with C

Stamps from Canada

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
           

Stamps from Croatia

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
March 29, 2010 MAV steam locomotive 767        
April 29, 2010 Expo 2010, Shanghai 773        

Stamps from Cuba

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
July 28, 2011 Locomotives (set of 6) 5221
5222
5223
5224
5225
5226
       
July 28, 2011 Shinkansen 5227        

 

Stamps from Curacao

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
April 12, 2012 Railways in Curacao (souvenir sheet of 4) 73        

Stamps from countries beginning with D

Stamps from countries beginning with E

Stamps from Ecuador

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
July 31, 2012 Opening the Guayaquil-Quito Railroad in 1908 2066e        

Stamps from Equatorial Guinea

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
2005 Art and architecture series - four trains 272 (strip of four)
272a (Basculante)
272b (Talgo Pendular)
272c (Electrotrén)
272d (T. A. F.)
       

Stamps from Estonia

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
October 25, 2012 Train and Narva bridge 713        
October 25, 2012 Trains and bridges (souvenir sheet of 3) 714
714a
714b
714c
       

Stamps from countries beginning with F

Stamps from France

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
September 21, 2012 Camp de Milles and WWII internment train 4277        

Stamps from countries beginning with G

Stamps from Great Britain

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
February 23, 2006 Isambard Kingdom Brunel projects 2353 (Royal Albert Bridge)
2354 (Box Tunnel)
2355 (Paddington Station)
2357a (booklet pane with 2354)
2358 (Maidenhead Bridge)
2358a (souvenir sheet)
2358b (booklet pane with 2353, 2355 and 2358)
       

Stamps from Guinea

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
December 7, 2000 North American locomotives (six sheets of 9, four souvenir sheets)

1843 (sheet of 9)
1843a (DeWitt Clinton)
1843b (American)
1843c (Triplet Mallet)
1843d (P&R 422)
1843e (Mason bogie)
1843f (No. 119)
1843g (Mogul)
1843h (Best Friend of Charleston)
1843i (John Bull)

1844 (sheet of 9)
1844a (UP U50)
1844b (Milw Bipolar #2)
1844c (BN SD40-2 #7044)
1844d (Amtrak Metroliner #880)
1844e (Rio Grande F-unit)
1844f (UP DD40AX)
1844g (LS&I U25C)
1844h (Milw Bipolar #4)
1844i (SP Krauss-Maffei #9006)

1845 (sheet of 9)
1845a (SP F-unit #98)
1845b (UP M-10001)
1845c (UP #4466)
1845d (C&O M class #500)
1845e (Amtrak P32 #513)
1845f (SP SD40-2 #9368)
1845g (GN W-1 class #5018)
1845h (Grand Canyon Ry #140)
1845i (PRR #6100)

1846 (sheet of 9)
1846a (BNSF #4326)
1846b (Conrail #8194)
1846c (KCS #6639)
1846d (SP #9800)
1846e (PRR GG1 #4835)
1846f (UP #8182)
1846g (BN #2917)
1846h (GM&O F-unit)
1846i (Santa Fe #627)

1847 (sheet of 9)
1847a (NS #6627)
1847b (GT #6219)
1847c (SOO #6401)
1847d (BNSF #2512)
1847e (Chessie #6035)
1847f (Utah Ry #9010)
1847g (C&NW #6866)
1847h (NS #3328)
1847i (CN #4634)

1848 (sheet of 9)
1848a (CP Budd car #9112)
1848b (NYC #113)
1848c (BC Rail #703)
1848d (C&O GP9 #6137)
1848e (Amtrak GG1 #902)
1848f (Santa Fe GP9 #2293)
1848g (Trainmaster)
1848h (Pioneer Zephyr)
1848i (D&RGW #5350)

1849 (Tom Thumb)
1850 (N&W J class)
1851 (Royal Hudson #403)
1852 (Royal Hudson #490)

       
May 16, 2001 Guinean Railways locomotive 1904
1905
1906
       
June 8, 2001 Locomotives (set of 6, three sheets of 6, three souvenir sheets)

1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912

1913 (sheet of 6)
1913a (Oliver Cromwell)
1913b (UP Big Boy #4019)
1913c (Rogers)
1913d (Gray Lady)
1913e (Old No. 1)
1913f (Jones Goods 4-6-0)

1914 (sheet of 6)
1914a (Jubilee class)
1914b (Iron Horse)
1914c (4-6-0)
1914d (2-10-0)
1914e (1887 Single)
1914f (King George V)

1915 (sheet of 6)
1915a (Hardwicke Western 2-4-0 #790)
1915b (Texas State RR 4-6-2)
1915c (Longhorne)
1915d (City of Truro)
1915e (Jubilee class Leander)
1915f (American)

1916 (Stanier Black 5 class)
1917 (LMS #5305)
1918 (Duchess of Hamilton)

       
June 8, 2001 Locomotives (set of 4, two sheets of 6, three souvenir sheets)

1919
1920
1921
1922

1923 (sheet of 6)
1923a (EW class electric)
1923b (68000 class diesel)
1923c (Ge 6/6 electric)
1923d (diesel-electric)
1923e (express electric)
1923f (AL6 electric)

1924 (sheet of 6)
1924a (diesel-electric)
1924b (7000 class electric)
1924c (E10 class electric)
1924d (D341 class diesel)
1924e (diesel-hydraulic)
1924f (5E1 class electric)

1925 (Santa Fe F9)
1926 (SSI class electric)
1927 (UP)

       
June 8, 2001 Locomotives (set of 3, two sheets of 6, two souvenir sheets)

1928
1929
1930

1931 (sheet of 6)
1931a (WP 4-6-2)
1931b (ETR 450)
1931c (EU-07)
1931d (25 class 4-8-4)
1931e (TGV)
1931f (345 class)

1932 (sheet of 6)
1932a (SY class 2-6-2)
1932b (Santa Fe F7)
1932c (4-4-0)
1932d (A2/1 class 4-6-2)
1932e (BB class #22200)
1932f (OL-49 class 4-6-2)

1933 (VT601)
1934 (QJ class 2-10-2)

       

Stamps from countries beginning with H

Stamps from Hungary

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1979 Rocket 2573 979.20 3343 2655 "Rocket"
June 12, 1981 George Stephenson and locomotive 2697 981.38 3502 2765 George Stephenson and locomotive

Stamps from countries beginning with I

Stamps from countries beginning with J

Stamps from Japan

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1975 steam locomotive 1192 975.9 1245 1146 steam locomotive
February 1, 2006 Galaxy Express 999 (souvenir sheet of 10) 2949 (sheet)
2949a (Galaxy Express 999)
2949b (passenger cars)
2949d (conductor)
2949j (Galaxy Express 999)
 
       

Stamps from countries beginning with K

Stamps from Korea (Democratic People's Republic)

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
May 31, 2012 Locomotives (set of 3 and booklet pane) 5121
5122
5123
5123a
       

Stamps from countries beginning with L

Stamps from Latvia

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
September 24, 2005 Bridge and tracks in Riga (souvenir sheet) 625        
March 25, 2006 Raunu railroad bridge (souvenir sheet) 644        

Stamps from countries beginning with M

Stamps from Mozambique

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
August 11, 2005 Southern African Development Community 25th anniversary 1736        

Stamps from countries beginning with N

Stamps from New Zealand

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1963          
February 3, 2006 Hawkes Bay earthquake 75th anniversary 2061p (refugee evacuation by train)
2061y (booklet pane with 2061p)
       

Stamps from Norway

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1984          

Stamps from the Netherlands

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
October 14, 2005 Trains (set of 4) 1206 (Blue Angel)
1207 (locomotive #3737)
1208 (ICE)
1209 (Koploper)
1209a (block of all four)
       

Stamps from countries beginning with O

Stamps from countries beginning with P

Stamps from Palau

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
June 7, 2005 VJ Day 60th anniversary (souvenir sheet) 833 (sailors on a train)        

Stamps from Portugal

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
July 8, 2005 Tourism (set of 6) 2746
2748
       

 

Stamps from countries beginning with Q

Stamps from countries beginning with R

Stamps from Russia

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
September 30, 2012 Russian Railways 175th anniversary (souvenir sheet) 7401        

Stamps from countries beginning with S

Stamps from San Marino

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
October 16, 2012 San Marino-Rimini Electric Railway 80th anniversary 1871        

Stamps from Sierra Leone

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1995 EMD F-unit locomotives

1850 (sheet)
1850a
1850b
1850c
1850d
1850e
1850f
1850g
1850h
1850i
1850j
1850k
1850l

995.105 (D&RG)
995.106 (CofG)
995.107 (SAL)
995.108 (MP)
995.109 (ATSF)
995.110 (MILW)
995.111 (T&P)
995.112 (SOO)
995.113 (WP)
995.114 (GN)
995.115 (B&O)
995.116 (Rock)

2306
2307
2308
2309
2310
2311
2312
2313
2314
2315
2316
2317

2073
2074
2075
2076
2077
2078
2079
2080
2081
2082
2083
2084

Sierra Leone sheet showing EMD F-unit locomotives

 

Stamps from Switzerland

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1947          

Stamps from countries beginning with T

Stamps from countries beginning with U

Stamps from the United States

Issue date Subject Scott # Domfil # Michel # Yvert # Image
1947 centennial of the first U.S. postage stamps 947 947.4 555 499 stamp centennial

Stamps from countries beginning with V

Stamps from countries beginning with W

Stamps from countries beginning with Y

Stamps from countries beginning with Z

EMD F-units; on Sierra Leone 1850 (Scott) sheetlet

DRGW 5771

If there is one locomotive series that paved the way for dieselization in North America more than any other, it would have to be the F-series locomotives of General Motors Electro-Motive Division. The first true F unit was the FT, first produced in 1939. F units were originally designed and sold as two-unit pairs of, usually, one cab-equipped A unit and cabless B unit drawbarred together like the Denver & Rio Grande set of F9s at the Colorado Railroad Museum (shown here). EMD built almost 1,000 FT units in the A and B configurations together, while later models were produced in even higher numbers. With their high production numbers and widespread use on both passenger and freight trains up through the 1970s in regular service, the EMD F series has appeared on numerous stamp issues. Let's take a closer look at one set from Sierra Leone...

Sierra Leone sheet of F-unit stamps

This miniature sheet of 12 stamps from Sierra Leone, listed in the Scott catalog as number 1850, is part of a series of three miniature sheets depicting railroads of the world. While the other two sheets include images of diesel and electric equipment from around the world, this sheet contains images only of United States railroads and except for two of them, only EMD F series locomotives. The locomotives depicted are:

Denver & Rio Grande Western
EMD FT
Central of Georgia 802
EMD E7
Seaboard Coast Line
EMD FT
Missouri Pacific
EMD E3
Santa Fe
EMD FT
Milwaukee Road
EMD FT
Texas & Pacific
EMD F7
Soo Line 2225-A
EMD F7
Western Pacific 901
EMD FT
Great Northern
EMD FT
Baltimore & Ohio
EMD FT
Rock Island
EMD FT

In the eight stamps depicting EMD FT locomotives, we get an idea of just how widespread the purchases of this model were. There are images of FTs in service on southwest (Rio Grande and Santa Fe), west and northwest (Western Pacific and Great Northern), midwest (Milwaukee Road), south central (Rock Island), southeast (Seaboard Coast Line) and northeast (Baltimore & Ohio) railroads. The other railroads represented here further show how widespread the F and later 6-axle E unit series had become. EMD was given a boost during World War II as wartime restrictions on domestic production were put into effect across the country. Alco and Baldwin, which had also begun building their own diesel locomotive models in the late 1930s, were ordered to build steam locomotives to proven designs. Alco had been in the steam locomotive business since its creation in 1901 (through the merger of several smaller manufacturing companies that dated back to the mid 1800s), and Baldwin had been building steam locomotives starting with a demonstration model built by Matthias Baldwin in 1831. Since EMD had never been a steam locomotive builder, the company was allowed to continue diesel locomotive production. By the end of the war, EMD had built almost 1,000 FT units, and was about to begin production of about 100 F2 locomotives, followed shortly by the beginning of F3 production in 1946. Eventually, EMD built almost 1,800 F3s and over 3,800 F7s before the mid 1950s. With diesel locomotives like these, North American railroads were able to operate longer and heavier trains with only one engine crew. Diesels also didn't need extensive water supply facilities, since their power is not derived from steam. The railroads that adopted diesel power saw cost savings in operations and maintenance, and the EMD F and E series helped lead the way.

Early locomotive construction depicted on worldwide postage stamps

The current issue of Topical Time, the bimonthly publication of the American Topical Association, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. The important item here for us ferroequinologists is the first cover story about the history of early steam locomotive development as depicted on postage stamps of the world. I read through it today and while there were a couple of typos (e.g. "Ross Winang" when it should be "Ross Winans", and "Golden Stake" when it should be "Golden Spike"), I didn't see anything glaringly wrong in the history. Now I wonder if I should submit my article titled "EMD F-units; on Sierra Leone 1850 (Scott) sheetlet" from a year ago. Maybe I will after adding information on other F-unit appearances on postage stamps. Or maybe it's time to put together the article I've been thinking about writing on the RPO inception and development.

George Stephenson; on Hungary 2697 (Scott)

George Stephenson on a stamp from HungaryGeorge Stephenson (June 9, 1781 - August 12, 1848) is sometimes considered to be the "Father of Railways" for his pioneering work on British railway lines in the early 19th century. On this 2 forint stamp from Hungary (Scott catalog number 2697), issued on June 12, 1981, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth, Stephenson is pictured with a plan drawing of a locomotive of his design. The locomotive is similar in appearance to Rocket, which he designed in 1829 to participate in the Rainhill Trials. The Scott catalog says that the locomotive pictured is Nonpareil, but it also bears a strong resemblance to Stourbridge Lion, built by Foster, Rastrick and Company in 1828. Stourbridge Lion should be familiar to US rail historians as it is cited as not only the first locomotive to operate in the United States but the first locomotive to operate anywhere outside of England. Although Stephenson didn't work on Stourbridge Lion, John Rastrick (the Rastrick part of the company name) was a judge at the Rainhill Trials, where Stephenson displayed Rocket. Stephenson's first locomotive, Blücher, built in 1814, also looks very similar to the locomotive pictured here. After building his first locomotives, Stephenson met with the owner of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The railway was originally planned to use horse-drawn wagons, but opened on September 27, 1825, using a steam locomotive remarkably similar to the one pictured on this stamp named Locomotion. That locomotive is preserved and on static display at the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum in England. Shortly before his death, Stephenson became the first president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1847. George Stephenson's son Robert (1803-1859) followed in his footsteps forging his own place in railroad history.

RPO service in the US turns 148 today

The first official mail transport by rail in the world occurred in 1830 when the UK's General Post Office shipped mail on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Then, in 1838, the General Post Office again achieved another first when the first Travelling Post Office car was introduced on the Grand Junction Railway, enabling sorting of mail while en route. Here in the US, the first mail was carried in a baggage car in 1831 on the South Carolina Rail Road, and Congress designated all US railroads as official postal routes in 1838. In 1862, the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad began regularly carrying mail in purpose-built mail cars. But it was August 28, 1864, that interests us most today, because that was the date that George B. Armstrong, a postmaster who had been promoted through his service in Chicago, established the first permanent RPO route in the US. It wasn't much longer until RPO cars looked more like what we think of today, as the mail hook was patented in 1867. The last regular RPO service in the US ended on June 30, 1977, with the last run of the route between New York and Washington, DC.

What is form 637?

Anyone who has spent time browsing around this site knows that I am also a philatelist (*ahem*, a stamp collector).  Earlier today I was at Tosapex, an annual stamp show held in West Allis, Wisconsin.  Compared to the model train shows I attend, this show was exceptionally small and quiet, but there was plenty of railroadiana available there, especially in the form of RPO covers and stamps that depict railroad subjects.

I was at this show to find more material for my March 4 collection (which I've blogged about separately), but while I was poking through one box of post cards, I found this one...

Illinois Central Gulf RR post card

The other side of the card looks like this:

Illinois Central Gulf RR post card

It's a shipment tracking card that was intended to be filled out by the shipper and then mailed to the railroad.  The lower part where it has "Initial" and "Number" are where the shipper would record the reporting marks and car numbers that held the shipment.  I did a quick search for more information about this card, but using the text "railroad form 637" proved less than productive.

This card was printed for the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad, as their address — 231 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI, 53203 — is under the address label on the card (I can see this information if I hold it up to a light).  There is also the name of the GM&O's freight agent on the top line, but a marker line, which can be seen on the image above as a dark brown patch, obscures the name, which is followed by "D. F. A."  On the shipment information side, you may be able to read the text under the marker line, but in case you can't, it says "VIA G., M. & O. R. R. AT" which would indicate the location where the car was to be picked up from an interchange point.

I purchased this card at the stamp show today for a few cents out of the dealer's bargain bin.  So the next time you hear of a stamp show in your area, check it out.  You might be surprised at what you find.