TPO03 - Bendigo

The railway from Melbourne to Kyneton opened in April 1862. The extension to Sandhurst (renamed Bendigo in 1891) opened in October 1862 and the further extension to Echuca opened in September 1864.

TPOs 3, 4 and 14 served along this route. The evidence suggests TPO3 only went as far as Sandhurst until about 1890, after which it went to Echuca. TPO4 travelled to Echuca from the start and may have provided service from Bendigo to Mildura after 1903.

Stations served include Macedon, Woodend, Kyneton, Taradale, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Sandhurst, and further north to Rochester and Echuca


T03-R1 (Receiver)

The TPO/3 cancellation was used to receipt mail delivered directly to the mail van for both uptrain and downtrain mail. A second uptrain or downtrain cancellation would be added once sorted. The earliest examples are seen on stamps issued in 1868 and the latest is seen on a cover dated February 13, 1871.

This is a rare strike on loose stamps and I have only recorded 1 cover.


T03-R2 (Receiver)
A later usage of the TPO/3 cancellation is recorded on a single example of the 1d commonwealth stamp issued in 1905. No covers are recorded from this era.


T03-U1 (Uptrain)

The large oval cancellation is first recorded on January 4, 1866 and last recorded on February 26, 1873.

My census of first-type cancellations includes 14 covers with this cancellation.


T03-U2 (Uptrain)

The duplex cancellation is recorded from January 8, 1873 until June 14, 1890.

This is a very common cancellation on both stamps and covers


T03-U3 (Uptrain)

The 23mm circle cancel is recorded from January 13, 1874  until August 30, 1894

It is very common on stamps and common on cover.


T03-U4 (Uptrain)

The duplex was re-issued with dates seen from August 7, 1894 until November 17, 1898.

This is very common on loose stamps but scarce on cover.


T03-U5 (Uptrain)

The 23mm circle was also re-issued with dates recorded from January 25, 1896 until October 16, 1902.

This is very common on stamps but quite scarce on cover.


T03-U5 (worn)
The handstamp used for this cancel became quite worn in the late 1890s with the MG3 completely voided from the cancellation. Any such examples found can be allocated with some certainty to this usage.


T03-U6 (Uptrain)

This 25mm circle cancel is recorded from October 5, 1902 until May 5, 1909.

This is very common on both stamps and covers.


T03-U7 (Uptrain)

The 29mm circle is first recorded on May 7, 1909 and last recorded on December 14, 1912.

This is very common on stamps but somewhat scarce on cover.


T03-U8 (Uptrain)

The 30mm circle with bars at the sides is recorded from March 22, 1912 until June 26, 1917.

This is common on stamps but I have not yet recorded any covers.


T03-D1 (Downtrain)

The first downtrain cancellation issued for TPO3 was the large octagon. The earliest recorded date is January 16, 1866 and the latest recorded date is July 3, 1872.

My census of the first-type cancels includes 4 covers with this cancellation.


T03-D2 (Downtrain)

The duplex cancel is recorded between September 16, 1876 and December 12, 1878.

I have not found any examples on loose stamps but have recorded 3 covers.


T03-D3 (Downtrain)

The 23mm octagon is recorded from February 4, 1875 until April 3, 1909, a span of 34 years!

It is a common strike on stamps but rare on cover, despite is long usage.


T03-D4 (Downtrain)

The 29mm circle is recorded from November 19, 1909 and January 10, 1913.

This is a rare strike on loose stamps and I have only recorded 1 cover.


T03-D5 (Downtrain)

The final cancel is a 30mm cirlce which is recorded from June 13, 1913 until July 14, 1915.

I have recorded only 3 strikes on loose stamps and no covers.


The Early and Late Record Dates shown are those published by Purves, or otherwise confirmed to me by various TPO collectors based on inventory in their respective collections.

Rarity factors shown have been deduced from the aggregate inventory of several major collections in this field, exceeding 10,000 strikes on loose stamps and 1050 covers in total; however, the statements on relative rarity are observations only and no warranty of accuracy shall be implied.

Reference: Victoria: The Travelling Post Offices and Their Markings (1865-1912) by JWRPurves (1979


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