TPOs -> The TPOs of Spain -> The Modern TPO Covers of Spain

The Modern TPO Covers of Spain

By Edith Knight

The Spanish T.P.O. system covers mainland Spain and Mallorca. There is no railway system in the Canary Islands or the other Balearic Islands. There are also many maritime marks covering the ferries that travel between the islands. Sadly, as with most countries, Spanish T.P.O. marks have fallen into disuse. The study of these marks is fascinating. The railway system was developed by the state and also by private companies, e.g. the Rio Tinto Mines in southern Spain. The routes are clearly marked on the ambulante cancels so it is quite easy, clarity of cancellation permitting, to build up a comprehensive collection of the routes in Spain up until the late 1960's. The most used marks have AMB DESC(endente) or AMB ASC(endente) at the top of the mark. This was used to show the line was either going to or away from Madrid. As routes developed the start/finish towns were indicated e.g. Barca - Port Bou.

Cover with AMBulante Express / 2 / Madrid - Bilbao TPO cancel
Cover addressed to a well travelled collector dated 12th February 1957 and posted into the Ambulante Express / 2 / Madrid - Bilbao
Cover with Zaragoza - Bilbao AMBulante Correo TPO cancel
A cover sent to England and posted on to the Zaragoza - Bilbao Ambulante Correo on 11th August 1955
Ambulante coach at Santander
The Bilbao - Santander Ambulante coach at rest between duties photographed at Santander in May 1989. This is a narrow gauge line.
Cadiz to Madrid Correo
Locomotive number 231-2005 entering El Portal on a Cadiz to Madrid Correo including Ambulante coach on 19th October 1963

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