We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Common is Train Robbery?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Train robberies are not very common in modern times. In today’s world, an average person is far more likely to be a victim of a mugging, pick pocketing, or burglary than a train robbery. Train robbery crimes were much more common in the 1800s and even in the early-to-mid 1900s than they are now. Like highwaymen, train robbers are more likely to be seen in historical fiction novels and history books than on the daily television news.

Train robbery was more common in the Old American West than it is today. Train robberies were especially prevalent in what was referred to as Indian Territory during the period that followed the American Civil War. Often, train robbers of this period would switch a train to a different track in order to send it in the direction of the waiting thieves; the thieves would then threaten the train engineer with guns and force him to uncouple passenger cars so they could get the mail car and the car that contained the safe alone for the robbery. In many cases, they were content with robbing a train’s mail car and safe, but they did sometimes rob the passengers as well.

One of the most famous train robberies in US history was the 1899 robbery of the Union Pacific Overland Flyer No. 1 train. Six train robbers managed to make off with loot the train company claimed was worth more than $50,000 US dollars (USD). This robbery occurred when the robbers tricked the engineer into stopping the train and then boarded it. They then used dynamite to blow up a bridge the train went over and more dynamite to gain entry to the train’s mail car, express car, and safe.

The United States was not the only country to deal with train robberies. Another of the most famous robberies occurred in India in 1925. This robbery was planned by members of the Hindustan Republican Association in an effort to raise money for a revolution against Britain. The robbers engineered the stopping of a Northern Railway train and were able to subdue a guard. They then proceeded to steal British Government Treasury money bags, but did not rob the Indian passengers.

Another famous train robbery, dubbed the Great Train Robbery, occurred in England in 1963. To rob this train, bandits rigged a train signal to be red when it should have been green. When the train stopped and one of the crew members disembarked, the bandits boarded the train and managed to steal a large sum of money. These robbers cut area phone lines and used decoy vehicles to mislead any possible witnesses.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a MyLawQuestions writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By RoyalSpyder — On Feb 21, 2014

@Chmander - I was once in a train station by myself, and I got pick pocketed. When I was waiting for the train to arrive, someone had pretended to bump into me, claiming it to be an accident. I just shrugged it off like it was nothing. When I had later gotten on the train, I couldn't find my phone. I searched every corner of my purse, until I realized that it was stolen by the guy who "bumped" into me. Unfortunately, I never got it back, but I'm a lot more attentive when at train stations now. They're a dangerous place to be, especially so late at night.

By Chmander — On Feb 20, 2014

I'm not surprised that train robberies aren't very common in this day and age. I've only seen them in cartoons and those old western movies. On the other hand, train stations can still be a very dangerous place, especially if you're alone. It's always good to be on the lookout for people who may try to pickpocket you. They'll always try it at the most inopportune time, and when you least expect it.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a MyLawQuestions writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Learn more
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.