Train robbery


Train robbery

Train robbery is a type of robbery, in which the goal is to steal money or other valuables being carried aboard trains. They were more common in the past than today, and often occurred in the American Old West. Trains carrying payroll shipments were a major target. These shipments would be guarded by an expressman whose duty it was to protect the cargo of the "express car". Expressmen, conductors, and other personnel took enormous pride in their duty and had no problem with risking their lives for a shipment. Bandits would rely on the expressman to open the safe and provide the goods. Without the combination required for the combination lock, it was almost impossible to break into the safes. However, the invention of dynamite made it much easier to break into safes and rob the train.

If the outlaw was unsatisfied with the goods, passengers of the train's carriages who were generally unarmed would be held at gunpoint and forced to hand over any valuables they were carrying, usually in the form of jewelry or currency.

Contrary to the method romanticized by Hollywood, outlaws generally never jumped from horseback onto a moving train. Usually, they would either board the train and wait for a good time to initiate the heist, or they would stop or derail the train and then begin the holdup.

Famous train robbers include Bill Miner, Jesse James and Butch Cassidy. Jesse James is mistakenly thought to have completed the first successful train robbery in the American West when on July 21, 1873 the James-Younger Gang took US $3,000 from the Rock Island Railroad after derailing it southwest of the town of Adair, Iowa. However, the first peacetime train robbery in the USA actually occurred on October 6, 1866, when robbers boarded the Ohio & Mississippi train shortly after it left Seymour, Indiana. They broke into one safe and tipped the other off the train before jumping off. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency later traced the crime to the Reno Gang. There was one earlier train robbery in May 1865, but because it was committed by armed guerrillas and occurred shortly after the end of the Civil War, it is not considered to be the first peacetime train robbery in the United States.

List of Train Robbers

* Frank, William, Simeon, and John Reno (The Reno Gang)
* Cole, Jim, John, and Bob Younger (Younger Brothers)
* The Dalton Gang
* Wild Bunch (aka Doolin-Dalton Gang)
* The Jessie Evans Gang
* Bill Miner
* Black Jack (Tom) Ketchum
* Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang
* Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch
* Bill Doolin
* Dave Rudabaugh
* Little Dick West
* George Newton
* Tulsa Black Jack
* Sam Bass
* Charlie Ballard
* Peg-Leg Eldridge
* Big Nose George Parrot
* Quail Hunter Jack Kennedyje was kii

Famous Train Robberies

* Great Gold Robbery of 1855, London - Paris (1855)
* Bezdany raid, Lithuania (1908)
* Kakori train robbery, India (1925)
* Great Train Robbery, England (1963)

In fiction

* "The Great Train Robbery", film (1903)
* "The Great Train Robbery", novel (1975)
* "The Train Job", an episode of the TV series Firefly that involved a train robbery.


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