Tim's One Photograph a Day

The “Mail Rail” Post Office Railway.

Post Office Railway.

Post Office Railway: Not the secret it used to be.

Not the secret it used to be.

This was something we had planned to do back in September. We had booked our trip on the Post Office Railway a couple of days after it had opened. Unfortunately, a technical failure the previous day thwarted our attempt.

As we were coming in to London again today, we managed to rearrange our booking. Having had a long interest in railways, I had known of the existence of this line for many years. Most of the General Public probably didn’t.

The line opened in 1927, although a smaller vacuum operated had operated previously between 1863 and 1874. The Post Office Railway was electric, and used driverless trains. It ran from Paddington to the Eastern Sorting Office at Whitechapel. Reduction in mail, and the closure of several sorting offices along the route eventually meant the end of the line, and it closed in May 2003.

A small section of the Post Office Railway has now reopened. This consists of a loop from the original main depot and works (where the above photograph was taken). This is in part of the Mount Pleasant sorting office. The trips runs down onto the main track, through Mount Pleasant station, then looping back round to the other side of the station and back to the depot.

It may only be a short trip, but it is fascinating and very well presented. If you are ever in the area, it is well worth a visit, although it is best to pre book your trip.

Further details: www.postalmuseum.org/discover/attractions/mail-rail-ride

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 2 November 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
  • Focal Length 24mm
  • F/4.5
  • 1/40 Sec
  • ISO 8000

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