Mail Rail – London’s newest tourist railway

By Keith Fender

THE new National Postal Museum opened its doors to the public on July 28.

Located in Phoenix Place between King’s Cross and Farringdon, the museum is next to Royal Mail Mount Pleasant sorting centre.

Mail Rail passenger trains in the new passenger station built in the former maintenance workshops under Mount Pleasant sorting office. KEITH FENDER

A key aspect of the postal museum’s attraction will be a section of the former Post Office Railway that once ran between Paddington and Whitechapel, with the workshops and tunnels underneath the sorting office publicly accessible for the first time in its history.

A section of the line will offer passenger train rides on a 1km loop using new purpose-built trains constructed by Severn Lamb in Stratford-upon-Avon. Although the museum is open, trains will not begin running until September 4, and visitors have the option of visiting the museum with or without a ride on the railway (

The Post Office Railway (re-named Mail Rail in 1987) was a 6.5 mile 2ft 0in (610mm) gauge automated electric railway that opened in 1927 to move mail under central London. It has been closed since 2003 when Royal Mail switched more traffic to road and air. A feature on this unique subterranean railway is planned for an future issue of The Railway Magazine.

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