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A money train is one or more railcars used to collect fare collection revenue from stations on a subway system and return it to a central location for processing. This train is typically used to carry money bags guarded by transit police to deter robberies.
On the New York City Subway, a “money train” was first mentioned in 1905, a year after the system opened. Their trains were converted from subway cars that have been removed from service, with the last service running in January 2006.
The use of a train was necessary because of difficulties in getting to and from stations using over-street transport, and because, since the subway reaches every station, the rail system itself can be used to collect money from ticket machines. The 1995 American thriller film Money Train depicts a robbery of such a train.
In Australia, the reverse procedure occurred with the New South Wales Government Railways fleet of pay buses. A small self powered railcar, they were used to deliver pay packets containing cash to employees at remote railway stations, as well as maintenance gangs working on the tracks. This operation remained in service until the 1980s when electronic payments took over.
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