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The Post Office Railway, when it started running in 1927, was the first fully automated driverless railway in the world, a full forty years before the Victoria Line started service in London in 1967. The railway below London became the main means of moving mail, with Mount Pleasant being the hub of the distribution system. Linking with London’s main line stations most of the country’s long-distance mail travelled via the Post Office Railway.
The fascinating story of how it began, how it was built, and why it closed is told here in an accessible way that tries to cover a highly technical and innovative system in a way that is easy to understand. The railway closed in 2003, but that was not the end of the story. The Postal Museum took over part of the Mount Pleasant sorting office to tell the story of 500 years of postal history and to open Mail Rail again with specially built trains as a visitor attraction and the start of a whole new adventure. If you are a railway enthusiast, postal enthusiast, urban explorer or just interested in finding out more about one of London’s best-kept secrets this book is a must read for you.
About the Author
Mike started his working life as a ‘youth in training’ on the Post Office Railway in January 1962. After this intensive training period he became a technician on the railway and after a further one year’s training a technical officer. He obtained a City and Guilds full Technician’s certificate with endorsements, a Higher National certificate with endorsements and a degree from the Open University. After spells on research at Dollis Hill and Martlesham, and on Postal Mechanisation in Southampton, he left the General Post Office to pursue a career as an independent consultant. Having retired he returned to the railway when it opened as part of the Postal Museum in September 2017 and now works on a part-time basis as a Driver/Operator.