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I found a similar but not quite perfect question/answer at:

Possible distance travelled by horse over 6 weeks?

The thread was great, I learned about palfreys and relays, etc. My scenario is a little different. Not a single horse/rider scenario, but a team and carriage. My best guess is that a team of two horses pulling a carriage with four people might travel ~ a few miles per hour. Perhaps 3 - 5 miles per hour. So, for two hours travel time, around 8 miles would be traversed.

Is this right?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are they travelling on a road? Good conditions? Are they going as fast as possible or taking a leisurely pace? $\endgroup$ – adaliabooks Aug 24 '17 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it's about right, maybe even a little optimistic. That is assuming that the carriage is travelling over a decent road. On poor roads or cross-country I'd say that 2 to 3 miles per hour would be more realistic. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Aug 24 '17 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ Additional information such as type of horses, type of carriage, time period, road quality, cargo weight, and weather conditions might help narrow the answer down. $\endgroup$ – user2259716 Aug 24 '17 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ A four-horse stagecoach was going at average speed of 5 mph. That was the "cruising" speed, and probably was as good as it gets with this technology. Technically, carriage top speed can be much higher, but not for long, and at a risk to the horses and the carriage itself. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 24 '17 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Everything I am seeing say that 20 miles seems to be the most likely amount they can travel in a day. They can keep up a high speed trot for about 2 hours but will need to rest for some time after. It really depends on if this is something they are doing everyday or not. At best, they could trot for 2 hours and possibly get 10-15 miles in BUT these are farm horses, the carriage is probably a buckboard or some form of farm wagon. 4 people. My guess would be 10-15 miles in 2 hours. But the speed would drop after, and the rest of the day would be ~2 mph (not including feeding and breaks). $\endgroup$ – user2259716 Aug 24 '17 at 17:56
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Very much depends on road, kind of carriage, total distance to cover and who's chasing you.

In Roman times, with relatively good roads, average daily distance was between 40km and 60km.

Distance between caravansarais, on the Silk Road, were about 40km apart.

Conestoga wagons on the Oregon trail traveled 15-20 Mi (24-32 Km).

Chose Your pick.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, maybe 40 km (25 miles) as an upper end. that's per day, and I guess that means ~10 hours? So, maybe 2.5 miles per hour is closer to true. Road is good condition but dirt meaning some ruts. Two hours of travel time could equal 5 miles? I can make the carriage any quality at this point. $\endgroup$ – DPT Aug 24 '17 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ @DPT: Take into account those wagons weren't as comfortable as today's cars, and neither as XIX century coaches. They had to stop often. I suspect two hours of travel were upper limit, so speed probably was higher, but with sizeable stops to stretch your legs. $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Aug 24 '17 at 19:16
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In 1858, John Butterfield of the Butterfield Overland Stage Co.and his New York associates made a contract with the Post Office Department that made possible the first semiweekly mail service to and from California. When Butterfield guaranteed to deliver the mail between St. Louis and San Francisco in 25 days or less, he was awarded a $600,000 annual Post Office subsidy. As in the case of so many transportation developments in America—land, sea, and air—carrying the mail was the decisive factor. Passenger freight, even at full capacity, would not defray operating expenses over Butterfield’s 2,800 mile route. 112 miles a day.

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