The Pony Express was by far the most effective way to communicate cross-country at the time—at least until the telegraph came along. An illustration of a Pony Express rider passing men putting up telegraph poles, created in 1867. The Hollenberg Pony Express station near Hanover, Kansas is the most intact Pony Express station left. Pony Express riders were expected to be stand-up citizens, despite their later reputation as rough-and-tumble frontiersmen. They had mochilas designed specially for the Pony Express—ones that look nothing like some of the products now sold as \"Pony Express saddlebags.\"