Authorities found that the gold in four lock boxes shipped from London had been partially replaced with lead shot. On the night of the robbery, the men disguised themselves as gentlemen and boarded the train in London carrying luggage filled with lead. The bandits used their copied keys to open the safes. After switching the gold with lead, they resealed the boxes and left the train.
The Verdi Train Robbery
November 5, 1870
A small group of five men were tipped off that a nearby train would be carrying around $60,000 in gold and silver. The men rode their horses to Verdi and set up a barrier across the tracks. The five men boarded it and quickly took over the engine. They separated the two cars from the rest of the train, and then the robbers filled their bags with the money and fled. The men were able to leave with roughly $41,000 worth of gold and silver. Later on, most of the gold was also found with the men and returned.
Jesse James' Iowa Train Robbery
July 21, 1873
Jesse James is a notorious outlaw who was known as a bank robber, but also was one of the few bandits who held up a moving train. After they knew the train schedule, James and his gang loosened a section of track. As the train went around a blind curve, the thieves used a rope to dislodge the track, causing it to go into a ditch. They boarded the train cars and looked for a safe. They believed it would contain a large amount of gold, but upon opening it, they found only $2,000.
The Wilcox Train Robbery
June 2, 1899
Robert LeRoy Parker led a gang of train robbers who went by “The Wild Bunch.” The members flagged down the first part of a two-section train operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. After the train stopped, two men boarded it and ordered the engineer to cross a nearby bridge. As soon as the last car cleared the gap, the bandits dynamited the bridge, and the second train was on the other side. The robbers the blew the doors off with sticks of dynamite and then used more explosives to open the safe. The gang made around $30,000 before disappearing into the mountains.
Canadian Pacific Railway Robbery
September 10, 1904
Bill Miner and two other men boarded a Canadian Pacific Railway train at the Mission Station while the area was covered in fog. Once the train left, the bandits held both the engineer and fireman at gunpoint. The engineer was forced to stop the train and release the passenger cars. Miner and his men forced the express messenger to open the safe. The safe contained $6,000 in gold dust and $1,000 in cash. Miner also stole $50,000 is US government bonds and $250,000 in negotiable Australian securities. Miner and the other two men managed to escape the area without being caught.
The Bezdany Raid
September 26, 1908
This was an attempt to help free Poland from Russian occupation. Jozef Pilsudski put together a plan to overtake a train. The members of the Bojowki who took part in the raid on the train were 16 men and four women. Six of the members were on the train disguised as passengers, and the remaining members were at the train station. When the train came to a stop at the station, one group assaulted the train, while the other took control of the station. Bombs were used in the attack, and a short firefight ensued. The group looted around 200,000 Russian rubles.
DeAutremont Brothers Train Robbery
October 11, 1923
Twin brothers Roy and Ray DeAutremont and their younger brother Hugh ambushed a Southern Pacific train in Oregon as it came out a dark tunnel. The brothers didn’t plan out their ambush very well, which was evident when the boys tried to blow up the mail cart. They used too much dynamite, destroying the mail cart and killing the mail clerk. The brothers were supposed to find $40,000 in gold, but they were surprised when there was none to be found. They fled the scene quickly and went unnoticed for three years before being caught.
The Rondout Train Robbery
June 12, 1924
This was the work of the Newton Boys, a band of four Texas brothers who robbed at least 60 banks and 6 trains during their criminal careers. Two of the Newton brothers boarded a mail train on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. After pulling guns on the engineer, the men forced the train to stop near Rondout, Illinois. The thieves then threw bottles of poisonous gas into the windows of the passenger cars. The bandits ran with several mail sacks containing $3 million in cash. The gang escaped in their cars, but there was a confusion in the robbery and one of the Newton brothers were shot.
Kakori Train Robbery
August 9, 1925
This was an act of political protest. It was the militant revolutionaries who sought to free India from the British rule. They often resorted to robbery to fund their rebellion. As the train neared the town, ten armed revolutionaries defeated the guards and took the train. They used hammers to batter their way into a British safe filled with moneybags. All ten of the revolutionaries escaped without injury. The men didn't get captured for over a month, but by September, the train robbers had been arrested.
The Great Train Robbery of 1963
August 8, 1963
In Britain, a gang of 15 stole more than 7 million in banknotes from a Royal Mail train. In the early morning of August 8, the robbers rigged a false red signal light near a section of track. When the train stopped at the light, more than a dozen men in ski masks appeared, beat the driver with a metal rod and uncoupled most of the cars. After forcing the driver to move the remaining cars, the thieves formed a human chain and quickly transferred 120 bags of money into three waiting vehicles.