TPO12 - Benalla

The rail line was completed to Wodonga in April 1872 and, shortly afterwards, a mail van was assigned to the route.

TPOs 5, 6, 12, and 13 operated on this line, however, the distance that each travelled from Melbourne might have varied from time to time. Records indicate TPO12 only travelled as far as Benalla, while TPOs 5 and 6 travelled as far as Wodonga for most of the time (and TPO6 service to Albury NSW is  probable). TPO6 was the last to be terminated in 1917.

Stations served include Wallan Wallan, Broadford, Tallrook, Seymour, Avenel, Euroa, Violet Town, Benalla, Wangaratta, Chiltern, Wodonga, and Rutherglen.


T12-U1 (Uptrain)

The duplex cancel was the first type issued for TPO12. The earliest recorded date is 1881 and the latest recorded date is August 29, 1883.

This is another rare strike. I have recorded 2 examples on loose stamps and 2 covers.

It would seem logical that a complementary downtrain duplex  would have been issued to the TPO, but no evidence of its existence has ever been recorded.  It would be a great discovery to locate an example! 


T12-U2 (Uptrain)

The 22mm circle (Type 1 - dots at either side) is recorded from August 29, 1881 until June 6, 1896.

This is a common strike on stamps and fairly scarce on cover.



T12-U3 (Uptrain)

The 22mm circle (Type 2 - dashes at either side) is recorded from August 11, 1896 until November 11, 1898.

It is common on stamps but scarce on cover.


T12-D1 (Downtrain)

The 22mm octagon cancel is recorded from October 31, 1885 until June 28, 1898.

It is reasonably common on stamp and fairly scarce on cover.


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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