You are here:

Antique Safes/how to open an railway express agency safe


I have the combonation to a safe that I bought several years
Back but the combination involves numbers and letters
I am not sure how to enter the numbers and letters into the safe

Hi Adrian,

As you haven't provided me with any useful info, I can't help you.    There is no such thing as a "Railway Express Agency" safe.     The Railway Express Agency didn't come about until about 1929.    When they began acquiring safes, they simply took what ever was on site already or they purchased used safes from local distributors.    They put their name on them as a form of ownership, however the safes WERE NOT built for them, and having the name does NOT give it any historical significance.

So the first item of business, is to ACTUALLY ID what you might have, and/or what lock is installed.    This will give us a reference to coming up with a possible dialing sequence.

Second item of business, would be for YOU to provide me with the combination that you have, exactly as written, so that I can try to figure out how to actually apply it and/or decode it for you.

Once we have established WHAT you have, and/or how the combination sequence should be applied, THEN I can probably assist you.

If you would like me to look at your safe, I would be happy to, but I will need pictures of the entire safe, and close ups of the dial and handle, and/or any other identifying items or logo's on the safe.

You can send the pics to me at:

Once I get a chance to see the safe and the dial, AND your combination, I can possibly come up with a dialing sequence for you.  

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]