The Nation: The Missing Mail Car

Americans accustomed to grumbling about bad train service and late mail deliveries can take some perverse delight in a joint foul-up that showed both of their demons at their worst. More than two years ago, a Penn Central railroad car carrying 319 sacks of mail and 1,874 parcel-post packages left Philadelphia for Birmingham.

The car vanished, and neither postal authorities nor Penn Central's computers could figure out where it had gone. Last week, after 25 months, the railroad car turned up on a siding in Perryville, Md. Because of mechanical trouble, the car had...

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