The Postal Musem - Mail Rail

Located deep beneath the streets of the capital, London's secret 100 year old post office railway
has kept people across the world connected by transporting billions of letters, parcels and
postcards safely through the city and onto their final destination across the country and around
the globe.

Coinciding with its launch in mid-2017, The Postal Museum is opening up the now deserted 'Mail Rail' tunnels
to the public for the first time, as an immersive ride through its narrow network of  hidden tunnels.


A pioneering driverless electric railway, Mail Rail's narrow tunnels run for 6.5 miles deep under
London, criss-crossing the tube lines and linking six old sorting offices with the mainline
stations at Liverpool Street and Paddington. In their early days, the tunnels were so clandestine
that they were even used to hide the Rosetta Stone from Zeppelin raids during the First World War.
At its peak, Mail Rail operated for 22 hours out of 24, employing over 220 staff and carrying more
than four million letters silently below ground every single day.

Closed for good in 2003, Mail Rail has since been maintained byjust three engineers, its tunnels
and previously busy car depot - where engineers carried out repairs around the clock - frozen in
time from its last day in service.

Mail Rail at The Postal Museum will bring part of this extraordinary feat of engineering back to
life. Visitors will take a 15-minute ride on a specially-built passenger train through one
kilometre of original tunnels and around the deserted platforms of the Mount Pleasant sorting
office station.


The original car depot will be repurposed into an interactive exhibition space revealing the
industrial power and ingenious innovations used to move people's personal letters and parcels to
their front doors. In addition, the car depot will feature a unique events venue and Mail Rail
shop, as well as acting as the embarkation point for the ride.

On the ride, audio-visual technology and projection mapping will transport people back in time to
help understand how and why the railway operated and its impact on our ability to communicate with
friends, family and business partners across the world. Powerful events from our history, including
a Blitz experience will be revealed along with their impact on the hidden railway and an immersive
theatrical experience will peel back the layers of time to reveal the station in its lively 1930s

After the train ride visitors can explore the exhibition space which tells the story of Mail Rail
from 1863 when its predecessor, a pneumatic rail system, conveyed mail under London's streets using
small rail cars propelled through the tunnels by air.


The first pneumatic section ran between Euston Station and Eversholt Street and operators
frequently had to turn down requests for a ride home from men on their way back from the pub!

Through a blend of interactive exhibitions, oral histories and exciting new technologies, the story
of the people behind the railway and the history of our connected world will be revealed.

Viridor Credits awarded £100,000 towards the renovation of the gallery in 2014.