WASHINGTON -- Eighty-six years has cut the mail delivery between New York and Washington from thirty-two to three hours.
In 1832 a special combination of stage coach, railroad and steamboat, the 250-mile route was traversed in the then remarkable time of thirty-six hours. This feat was the subject of congratulatory speeches in the senate.
Through establishment of relays of fresh horses every five miles, the pony express attained great speed, delivering New York mail in Washington in fifteen hours. The horses would be run at top speed for their five-mile stretch, then be replaced by fresh animals. Relay riders were replaced every few miles.