Jamaican Railway Office Postmarks

"Railway Office Cancellations" came into general use in 1901 and were available at some 44-45 locations until around 1926. While by the early 1970's most of the Jamaican railway service was closed.

Potter (1996) indentifies 39 such Railway Offices, while earlier writers (Collett et. al., 1928 and Johnson, 1964) note 45 and 44 locations respectively*.

The marks are generally in a deep-blue ink, but examples in other colours are known. While the earlier writers distinguish 3 general types of railway cancellations, Potter subdivides these into 9 different types and sub-types.

Railway Postmark - Type "S1":

A double ring 32mm in diameter reading "JAMAICA RAILWAY" around the top and the station name below, separated by two dots. A three line date. Two sub-types are noted. "S1a" with Maltese crosses instead of dots and "S1b" with no marks between the "JAMAICA RAILWAY" and the station name.


Railway Postmark - Type "S2":

As Type S1, but with the word "STATION" inserted after the name. Sub-types "S2a/b" are similarly as S1a or S1b, but with "STATION" added after the name.


Railway Postmark - Type "S3":

As type S1, but with the word "GOV'T." added between "JAMAICA" and "RAILWAY". Separators are Maltese crosses. Sub-type "S3a" is without the Maltese crosses.


Railway Postmark - Type "S4":

Now with the full word "GOVERNMENT" inserted and hyphens used as separators. Sub-types "S4a, S4b, and S4c" differ in having either separators of dots (S4a), or of Maltese crosses (S4c) or no separators present (S4b).


* Other Offices noted (Collett et al., 1928) are; "BAGGAGE ROOM", "BERNARD LODGE", "MAY PEN", "NEW WORKS" and "WINDSOR CASTLE SIDING". These additional marks may not have been used postally.