How the Great Train Robbery Worked

Great Train Robbery: Cheat Sheet

Stuff You Need to Know:

  • The robbery of the Up Special, on the night of Aug. 8, 1963, is the largest train heist in Britain's history. The Up Special was a 12-car, single diesel locomotive mobile post office where postal employees sorted mail and packages en route from Glasgow, Scotland to London, England.
  • It took 15 men to pull off the train heist. The list of criminals included Bruce Reynolds, Douglas Gordon "Goody," Ronald "Buster" Edwards, Charlie Wilson, Ronnie Biggs, Roy James, Roger Cordrey, Tom Wisbey, Jim Hussey, Bob Welch, Brian Field, Leonard Field, Jimmy White, William Boal and John Daly.
  • In just 15 minutes, the gang stole 120 sacks of bank notes worth £2.6 million (about $7 million at the time, or more than $50 million today) from the second train car.
  • A team of detectives called the Flying Squad was dispatched from Scotland Yard to find the criminals. It took more than a week for the detective team to catch their first break, fingerprints found on a bottle of ketchup and a game of monopoly at the robbers' safe house, but within 24 hours of the find they'd made their first arrest in the case.

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