Railroad Switch Locking Mail Box

6 Materials
4 Hours

Well a few years ago I did a post of my American flag mailbox and I loved it, but unfortunately the current times made me switch them out because our neighborhood was having problems with criminals were stealing mail and identities. It was time to replace the old one which is now in my back yard holding faucet sprinklers. So we made the decision to put in a locking mailbox.

10.00 thrift store find.
10.00 thrift store find.

I had found a brand new mailbox in the box at thrift store for 10.00 wohooo for me!

my husband promised to bring home a railroad switch for my base.( he works for the railroad)


It was large and locking, i’ll Show those criminals! At the hardware store I would have paid well over 100.00 so I got a steal.

railroad switch locking mail box

We had cut a piece of plywood the size of the base mailbox. I painted it black to match.

Attached wood to switch stand
Attached wood to switch stand

My husband welded a flange to switch stand and painted it black to match my board and mailbox ( yes my husband came through with switch stand! For those who do not know what’s a switch stand is it is at a railroad of two tracks. Where you turn the switch from one track to the other for the trains Big and heavy)

Lag and bolts
Lag and bolts

We lag bolted the top to switch stand and then screwed the mailbox to the plywood. Then we just set the box on top and screwed it down.

Finished mailbox
Finished mailbox

My husband had already made the base for switch stand with concrete and bolts to attach the base of switch stand for stability the weekend before weather permitting. It looks lovely and the switch stand gives it character.

Switch stand
Switch stand

Now let’s see those criminals get into this. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It has gotten rave reviews from my neighbors.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Anna
    on Dec 22, 2018

    Doesn't show how it works. How does the mailman put the mail in? Does it lock with and inside door or with the railroad switch?

    • Ruth
      on Dec 23, 2018

      There is a small clip on the inside of door.

  • Diane Huffman
    on Dec 22, 2018

    I don't understand. The railroad switch has nothing to do with locking the mailbox, correct?

    • Barb
      on Dec 28, 2018

      I agree with you, Diane, the base looks like it has nothing to do with locking the mailbox.

  • A concerned citizen
    on Dec 26, 2018

    Did your husband pay for the railroad switch he "took" from his job?

    • Jenny
      on Jan 12, 2019

      As the wife of a fellow rail roader I can assure you that it wasn't necessary for him to pay for the switch. The railroads have been phasing out the taller switches like the one used here (they no longer make parts for them) for smaller switches. It would have been disposed of, now it has a new purpose.

Join the conversation

4 of 15 comments
  • KayH
    on Dec 23, 2018

    Cute idea!! I work for a railroad too but don't have access to a switch. You should mount a switch lock on the outside of the door flap to make it look like its locking the outside door.

  • Luci Hedley
    on Dec 23, 2018

    i feel that it is always very bad security putting your name on your letter box. be careful ! !

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