The mail rail was an underground network of automated trains stretching from Paddington to Whitechapel. For 75 years, millions of items of mail each day were transported beneath the streets of London. The system was retired as over-ground transport by van was cheaper.
I previously wrote about the opening of a Postal Museum and the chance to ride on the mail rain trains here. This post is about our visit on Saturday 23rd September.
It’s hard to get there
Mail Rail and the Postal Museum opposite aren’t that close to any of the three nearest underground stations. London Black Taxi drivers don’t know the street – I guess because nobody went there until September this year.
But we found the place – well Postal Museum first and then had to cross the road and walk down a little to Mail Rail.
Once inside we went downstairs to a large hall.
At one end was a platform.
And then the Mail Train arrived.
The carriages are quite small – with gull-wing doors.
We boarded the train.
Then we set off down a warren of tunnels.
Past empty platforms where postal workers used to be busy loading mail.
With maybe the odd game of darts between trains.
There were also stops with interesting video projections. All too soon we were back and found ourselves stepping out of the door opposite to the one we entered – the train takes a loop.
We left Mail Rail and crossed to the Postal Museum. The entrance has a modern café with themed outdoor seating.
We were a little late and didn’t have much time to spend there – but there were some interesting exhibits.
We all enjoyed the Mail Rail and Postal Museum and I’d recommend a visit. Just leave early so you get there in time.
The Postal Museum
15-20 Phoenix Place
London WC1X 0DA