TPO -> TPOs of Latvia

TPOs of Latvia

By Tony Goodbody

The history of Latvian TPOs from 1920 follows much the same course as for Estonia. The name for a TPO is Pasta Vagona (P.V.) or Pasta Wahgis (P.W.). Again the postmarks were oval on the same pattern as the Russian marks which they replaced. The routes were numbered from 1 to 58 in pairs. For example TPO No. 1 was RIGA-VALKA and TPO No.2 was VALKA-RIGA. The earlier marks did not include the route number in the datestamp (figure 1).

Fig. 1: RIGA-VALKA P.W. TPO mark without route number
Figure 1: RIGA-VALKA P.W.

The following cover shows the mark JEGLAVA-BAUSKA UN OTRADI/ P.V. NOD. The meaning of "UN OTRADI" is "And Return". P.V. NOD is short for PASTA VAGONA NODALA which means "Postal Wagon Compartment". (The reference from "TPO Journal" quoted below is incorrect on this point). The probable inference is that this route was worked by a mailguard along with some of the other lesser routes.

Fig 2: JEGLAVA-BAUSKA UN OTRADI / P.V. NOD mailguard route mark

Fig 3: STENDE-MAZIRBE UN OTRADI/ P.V. NOD No.No. 37 UN 38 postmark with route numbers This piece shows a postmark with the route numbers included: STENDE-MAZIRBE UN OTRADI/ P.V. NOD No.No. 37 UN 38 ("No." occurs twice in error?)

The final cover, figure 4, shows a card from the post war Russian period with cancellation P.V. B/N VALGA-TARTU. The letters B/N stand for "bez nomera" = "without number" (of the postal carriage).

Fig 4: P.V. VALGA - TARTU of post war Russian period
Figure 4: P.V. B/N VALGA - TARTU



1. Engel, E. 'The Railroad Mail of Latvia.' Illustrated, b/w The American Philatelist, April, 1988, pp 337-341.
2. 'The Travelling Post Offices of Latvia.' Illustrated, b/w, 2pp. TPO Journal: Vol. 36, No.2, pp25-26, 1982. Introduction and list of routes for the period 1920-1941.
3. 'Lettland Handbuch Philatelie und Post-geschichte, Die Stempel.' (Handbuch-5) (pp27, 89/90, 244-249) Illustrated b/w Harry Hofmann Verlag, Postfach 520518, D-2000, Hamburg 52 ISBN 7-7636-5061-X, 1987/88.

The Filatelistengroep "Het Baltische Gebied" (Philatelists Group "The Baltic Area") is a group of collectors of the stamps, cancels and postal history of the Baltic states.

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