Postal Museum and Mail Rail open to the public

New mail rail carriages
For nearly one hundred years, the Mail Rail carried the post across the capital, from Paddington to Whitechapel via Mount Pleasant, on a narrow gauge, driverless railway, before closing in 2003.

Now, following the National Lottery-funded redevelopment of the Postal Museum at the Mount Pleasant sorting office, the Mail Rail will run again, but with a cargo of visitors to the museum rather than post!

The opening of the Postal Museum marks the end of an ambitious year and a half project, which commenced on 4 February 2016, to convert a disused Clerkenwell printing factory into the new museum site and bring the disused ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels back to life as a ride for the first time in their 100 year history.

The museum’s galleries will take guests on a journey through five-centuries of world-class curiosities, providing a different, previously unseen view on some of the world’s most significant historical events, and an insight into the quirky beginnings of the earliest social network. 

“The Postal Museum team have created an awesome setting for the wonderful material that fills the museum.”Blondel Cluff, Chair of HLF London

Once visitors have taken in the museum, their ticket will then grant them access to a subterranean world that – up until now – remained hidden from public view.

Visitors will descend into the old engineering depot of Mail Rail and board a miniature train designed to transport them through its narrow tunnels. The interactive train ride will pass through and stop at the original Mount Pleasant station platforms, where an audio visual display will take riders back in time, giving an insight into how the railway kept post coursing through London for 22 hours a day.

Blondel Cluff, Chair of the HLF Committee for London, said: “Mount Pleasant is not only the largest sorting office in the world, but the hub of our postal services for over a century, the beating heart of postal communications throughout London, the UK, and ultimately the world. The Postal Museum team have created an awesome setting for the wonderful material that fills the museum, and we are delighted that National Lottery players have been able to support this fabulous project, which certainly gets HLF’s stamp of approval!”

Friday 28 July 2017 sees The Postal Museum site only open for visitors, with a family extravaganza running throughout the summer holidays.

Mail Rail will open on Monday 4 September 2017, with access to The Postal Museum’s specially designed play area for the under eights currently scheduled to open on the same day. 

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