Travelling Post Offices
The first TPO in Egypt was on the rail route between Alexandria and Cairo in 1875. More TPO were established around the expanding rail network. Egypt was the first country in Africa, and the third in the world, to introduce a rail system. Other TPOs were operated on navigable water ways and the many light railway systems in the Nile delta. The travelling post offices have been extensively documents with over 200 different routes recorded, see Peter Smith's book 'The Travelling Post Offices of Egypt' with further notes and listings in his book 'Egypt, Stamps & Postal History, a Philatelic Treatise'

Egypt Study Circle typing relates the physical attributes of the cancel and wording it contains. It makes no reference to the name(s) of the place of use thus a type can be for only one route or for many such as type TPO-7A3 having over ninety routes subscribed to it.

There are eight main types based around how the inscription within the cancel designates that it is from a TPO.

Type 1. inscribed AMBULANTEType 2. inscribed AMBULANT or SERVICE AMBULANT
Type 3. inscribed AMBT or AMBType 4. inscribed SERVICE AMBULANT V.V
Type 5. inscribed TPOType 6. inscribed TPO & V.V
Type 7. inscribed & V.VType 8. no inscription but with two or more route terminal place names.
V.V stands for (Visa Versa)

Type 1

Type 2

Type 3

Type 4

Type 5

Type 6

Type 7

Type 8

Type 8 postmarks can cause some problem of identification, some basic understanding of Arabic script and the geography of Egypt are definite assets here. These three postmarks are type 8 TPOs. Note the Arabic waw between the two Arabic place names. The waw means 'and' in Arabic.
While these three postmarks are not TPOs but from districts within a larger town.

Canals ⇔ Rail Railway/Canal Map circa 1915.

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