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Mail Rail - Post Office Railway, London

6 1/2 mile, 2ft gauge driverless underground railway, linking postal sorting offices and main-line stations. 1927-2003

Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):

The Postal Museum

15-20 Phoenix Place,



Visitor Centre:

About Mail Rail - Post Office Railway, London

The system was first opened in 1927 and was used to transport vast quantities of mail around London to its destinations.

It was in operation continuously for the next 76 years, even running during the blitz, until it was closed in 2003 after it became uneconomic due to the advent of more efficient mail technologies.

Construction work on the tunnels began in 1915 but it was over a decade before the first stretch of the line opened between Paddington and the West Central District Office near Covent Garden.

The underground tunnel network was later expanded to London Bridge in the South, Islington in the North and Liverpool Street in the West.

The trains running on the line were both electrically powered and driverless from their introduction, technologies that wouldn’t gain prominence for decades.

The refurbished line for museum visitors contains new trains that are based on designs used on the Mail Rail from 1987 but with a lowered floor to allow passengers to sit, as the tunnels are just seven feet (2.1m) high.

The new stock can carry a total of 32 people although those taller than 6 foot (1.8m) may face an uncomfortable experience.


Entry from IET with thanks


Nearest underground stations:

Chancery Lane

Kings Cross / St Pancras

Russell Square

Farringdon railway station


Buses 341 & 243 from Waterloo 








Post Office map of the Mail Rail system

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR