The Pony Express was a organized as a rider relay mail transport service in the United States and was responsible for about one year, the fastest postal service in North America. The 3000 km long route went from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.

The Pony Express took on the initiative of William Hepburn Russell on April 3, 1860, operating on. Their course was established in 1992 reported as Pony Express National Historic Trail, and added to the National Trails System.


The route ran from Saint Joseph (Missouri ) to Sacramento over a distance of 3,200 km. Approximately every 15 to 20 km was a stopover. The postmen were traveling on horseback. The work was not without danger, so young, unattached men were mainly employed that were not older than 18 years and not heavier than 60 kg. They were often orphans. One of the most famous was Buffalo Bill.

The Pony Express was very fast due to its relay system. Each courier was replaced after a maximum of 300 km. He led about 10 kg Express with it. On average, took over 80 km a new boy the post. The entire journey they needed about 75 ponies and 40 riders. After ten days they were on target.

The Pony Express consisted of 153 waypoints, 80 couriers, 500 horses and 200 grooms.

The largest part of their Ritts went through hostile Indian territory. Again and again, the operation had to be suspended due to attacks of hostile Indians. In addition, horses and riders quickly came to their performance limits.

On October 22, 1861, after only a little more than a year, their service was taken over by the transcontinental telegraph line. Despite its perfect logistics of the Pony Express was a financial disaster, but he had a great reputation among the people.


The over about 3100 km extending route followed the Oregon Trail and the California Trail to Fort Bridger in Wyoming and on the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City, Utah. From here they followed the Central Nevada Route to about to Carson City, Nevada, the Sierra Nevada to cross from there to Sacramento in California. Excluding the transportation to San Francisco, which was carried on horseback or by boat, resulting in a total length of about 3200 km.

The route began in Saint Joseph (Missouri ), following today's Route 36 ( the "Pony Express Highway" ) to Marysville, Kansas, to follow from thence in a northwesterly direction to the Little Blue River to Fort Kearny in Nebraska. From here it followed the Great Platte River Road through Gothenburg ( Nebraska), Courthouse Rock, Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff until it reached Julesburg Colorado, from where to Fort Laramie and Register Cliff they went further in Wyoming. From here it followed the Sweetwater River to Independence rock, Devil's Gate (Wyoming) and Split Rock to Fort Caspar, through the South Pass to Fort Bridger and then on to Salt Lake City. From Salt Lake City, she followed exactly the Central Nevada Route, as it had been charted in 1859 by Captain James H. Simpson of the Corps of Topographical Engineers. This distance corresponds approximately to the present-day U.S. Highway 50 through Nevada and Utah. They crossed the Great Basin, the Utah - Nevada Desert and the Sierra Nevada at Lake Tahoe before they reached Sacramento. From here the mail was sent on the steamer over the Sacramento River to San Francisco. If just there was no steamer available, the riders took the mail still on horseback continue to Oakland, California.


  • First Ride: April 3, 1860 - April 14, 1860
  • Recent rider: David Lay and William Frederick Cody ( Buffalo Bill), both 14 years old
  • Fastest transfer: 7 days, 17 hours on Abraham Lincoln's inaugural address
  • Longest ride: "Pony Bob" Haslam with 380 miles and WF Cody with 384 miles
  • Overall Stats: 120 riders traveled 650,000 miles, one rider was killed by Indians, a broadcast is not fully arrived, one is lost.


Under the title The Young Riders in the early 1990s was a television series starring Stephen Baldwin, Josh Brolin, Christopher Pettiet, Anthony Zerbe and others in the lead roles. The series dealt with the everyday life of the Pony Express riders, but also addresses the problems of slavery and Kiowa Indians.

The Pony Express is also the subject of a Lucky Luke comic books.