Thursday, August 8, 1963: The Great Train Robbery

     The Great Train Robbery was the most famous heist in an era that made celebrities of some high-profile criminals.
     The gang, taking inspiration from the rail robberies of the Wild West, raided the Glasgow-to-London mail train and made off with 2.6 million pounds (7 million dollars) in used bank notes.
     The audacious nature of the crime and their flight from justice made them as famous as the Hole in the Wall gang, who decades earlier had become the original Great Train Robbers.
     The mastermind was Bruce Reynolds, a known armed burglar. 
     Using inside information on the movement of valuables, he assembled a gang to intercept a night train in a quiet part of Buckinghamshire.
     On 8 August 1963, fifteen men wearing ski masks and helmets swarmed onto the train and grabbed 120 bags full of money -- a record haul.
     The scale and style of the heist captivated Britain and huge police operation was launched.
     They found the gang's abandoned hideout in nearby Leatherslade Farm -- with fingerprints still intact.
     Members of the gang were sentenced to a total of 300 years. Reynolds, eventually found after five years on the run, was given 10 years for masterminding the crime.
     -- From the BBC. Photo of uncoupled train coaches by Evening Standard / Getty Images. (The robbers had uncoupled the engine and two front carriages from the rest of the train, driving them to a bridge a mile away to unload the bags.)
* "Train Robbers Make Off With Millions" (1963, from BBC): @
* Summary (from British Transport Police): @
* Summary (from British Postal Museum &  Archive): @
* Summary (from mirror.co.uk): @
* Life magazine, August 23, 1963 (page 16): @
* "Looking back at the 1963 Great Train Robbery" (slideshow, Baltimore Sun): @
* Documentary (2012, from ITV): @
* "Witness" (2012, from BBC): @
* Website of Ronnie Biggs, one of the robbers: @
* Bruce Reynolds obituary (New York Times, February 2013): @ 

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