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Video of the Week: Inside London's mail rail.

Posted by Emily O'Dowd on Dec 9, 2016

It may surprise you that beneath LLondon's Mail Railonon there is another train line which used to transport letters rather than people around the city. The line was first built in 1927 and it ran from Whitechapel to Paddington until operation ended in 2003. 

In 1885 the Post Office's secretary Rowland Hill proposed that underground tube networks could be utilised to transport London city's mail. Hill envisaged that the line would connect the Post Office's Headquarters to Holborn's post office. At the beginning of the 19th century these plans were put into action as congested roads meant that the postal service was experiencing long delays. The propsoal outlined that the railway would be 70 feet below the ground along six and a half miles of tunneling. These tunnels were also used in the First World War to protect art treasures belonging to the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Gallery. In 1990 a new automated computer controlled rail system was installed on the tracks delivering more than six million mail bags each year. As it approached the 21st century, the declining use of the line meant that it was too expensive to run. 

89 years on, the line will now be open for business and it is expected to be one of London's most popular tourist attractions. New rolling stock was lowered into the tunnels last month for the first time in four decades. This video provides an insight into the new 15 minute ride that will be available to the public next year.

 

SmartRail World will bring this new video feature to you every Friday! We will present an array of interesting, bizarre and informative videos for your entertainment. If you come across a video that you would like to share on our website then please send your suggestions to emily.odowd@globaltransportforum.com

Last week's Video of the Week can be viewed here: China's first Skytrain

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Topics: VideoOfTheWeek

Emily O'Dowd

Written by Emily O'Dowd

On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in the industry she enjoys reading, running and sailing.

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