Exciting news, London – the old Post Office Underground Railway (aka the legendary ‘Mail Rail’) is set to be turned into an underground ride, following approval from Islington Council. Yes, soon you will be able to travel on the infamous driverless railway that was used to transport post from December 3 1927 until May 31 2003. The original track was 6.5 miles long, running from Paddington Head District Sorting Office to Eastern Head District Sorting Office in Whitechapel, via eight stops including Mount Pleasant.
A section of this route will become part of the British Postal Museum & Archive’s new Postal Museum, due to open in 2016. If all goes to plan, the public will have their first chance to ride one kilometre of original track under and around Mount Pleasant, while discovering all about the history of our mail service. In addition to the ride, the planned museum will also be home to a whole host of other exciting postal paraphernalia, including original evidence from the Great Train Robbery trial and flintlock pistols used to defend mail coaches in the nineteenth century. But c’mon, we know you’re mostly excited about jumping on board the choo-choo parcel train. We sure are.
But before all that can happen, there’s the small matter of money. The British Postal Museum & Archive is waiting on the outcome of an application for £4.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a decision is expected in May this year.
Find out more at postalheritage.org.uk