There’s an intriguing report in londonlovesbusiness that the recently privatized Royal Mail might reopen the little-known-about London Post Office Railway. It’s an automatic narrow guage railway that the Royal Mail used to use for transporting mail across London. It was used from its opening in 1927 to its closure in 2003, and delivered mail on driverless trains from Paddington in the West of London to Whitechapel in the East, at speeds of up to 40mph.
The more conventional people-carrying London Underground has many disused stations, including the one at Aldwych opened recently for a few days as part of a World War II commemoration. I myself once pulled into one when a Jubilee Line train from Green Park to Westminster pulled in at Trafalgar Square station instead, having been misdirected underground. It was weird seeing an abandoned and deserted station with posters of yesteryear adorning its walls.
There were six stations on the Post Office railway, with Mount Pleasant sorting office, the largest, still in use as a sorting office. This is the one they plan to reopen. The plan is to make it a museum rather than a working railway, but visitors will be able to ride the train between three stations. I once suggested to government that they should investigate converting part of the network into a toll link for cars to cross London without the congestion they encounter up top, but I guess it proved impracticable.
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