Mail Express

After the mail had been removed from the catch bar, it was dumped on the table in the center of the car. On this table the clerks sorted the mail and deposited it in the appropriate canvas mail bags hung on the rows of hooks on the inside walls of the car. Other mail was put in the appropriate mail slot on the middle wall of the car.

Mail Express 7815 was owned and maintained by the railway, but the mail clerks were employed by the Canadian Postal Service. Between 4 and 10 mail clerks worked this car in shifts. At the end of their shift they got off at various stations and were replaced with other clerks, so that mail could be sorted around the clock as the train moved across the country. The C.N.R. could guarantee letters from Montreal to Vancouver in four days.

There is a small doorway between the mail section and the express section. It was kept locked, and only opened when parcels or mail had to be passed from one side to the other.

The express section had between one and five expressmen working in it. Valuables and company payrolls were shipped by train, so the car doors on the express section were kept locked and only opened at the larger city stations, where armed guards were used to protect the car’s contents. Sometimes, armed guards even traveled inside the car.

There is also a mail slot near the middle of the car. If this car was stopped in a station, you could drop your mail into the slot to be sorted en route.

Mail in Canada went by train until 1970, when Canada Post began sending mail by plane and truck.

For more detailed information see:


    Our Buildings
    Our Collection
    Railway Articles


NO SMOKING of any type is allowed anywhere on the museum grounds.  This includes the museum’s parking lot. Thank you for your cooperation.

Since the museum is an industrial site, for the safety of your dog, and for the safety of our other visitors, please leave your dog at home. Service dogs are of course welcome.

We regret that not all of the museum’s grounds and collection are wheelchair accessible. Baby and child strollers are not recommended for touring the site. Plan to bring a carrier.

Rail Safety

All visitors are reminded that this is an industrial site and that proper footwear is necessary. Please obey all warning signs, DO NOT CLIMB on the equipment and pay attention to uneven entrances in display cars. Visitors ride on equipment at their own risk.


The Museum supports the efforts of Canada’s railways to promote safety. We highly recommend that our guests also visit the Operation Lifesaver website. There you’ll find more information about rail safety, including in-person presentations, videos, and other resources.


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