The Sleeper's Blog

02.12.16

'Mail Rail' trains tested to be revived as museum experience

Trains have run on the London Post Office Railway for the first time since the ‘Mail Rail’ service was abandoned over 10 years ago. 

The ‘Mail Rail’ underground track, which has not been used since 2003, saw its first test drive in a decade carried out along a section of the track ahead of its public re-opening next summer. 

Two new-battery powered trains based on original designs but modified to carry up to 32 passengers had been lowered onto the railway by a crane through a shaft to arrange the test drive. 

The track will be used as an educational experience for visitors to The Postal Museum, who will be able to board the trains at a depot at Mount Pleasant and take a one kilometre journey lasting 15 minutes. 

The London Post Office Railway network was established in 1927 and stretched for 6.5 miles from Whitechapel in the east of London to Paddington in the west, 70 feet below street level. Before the network was shut down, between four and 12 million items of post were carried through its tunnels each year.

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Comments

Ex-LTE Engineer   02/12/2016 at 18:43

I can remember the first time I walked along the District/Circle Line track at night in the Paddington area. Hearing a train coming towards me and passing me but no visible train. The Lineman told me it was "ghost train". He then explained with a smile that we were about 10 feet away from the Royal Mail train which was in another tunnel nearby.

STEPHEN Gould   03/12/2016 at 06:42

Shame the Mail Rail closed down, if reopened for it's original use, it would take alot of postal lorries off the streets. I guess it was too expensive to keep it going. I thought that I heard at one time, that private firms like Amazon, DHL etc were considering reopening and using the line? What will happen to the rest of the tunnels/network?

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