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Abandoned Mini Tube Line – Former London Mail Rail – Will Open to the Public

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File this under ‘very cool.’ For those that don’t know, there’s a secret underground Tube line beneath London that used to be used by Royal Mail to transport mail around the capital. It became redundant many years ago but the infrastructure is still in place and British Postal Museum & Archive has succeeded in getting planning permission to turn it into a tourist attraction.

By the year 2020, visitors will be able to take a ride on the old mail rail and explore subterranean London like never before.  Visitors will be able to ride 0.6 miles (1km) of the tunnels under central London. A new postal museum to support the new attraction will open at Mount Pleasant in 2016.

Artist Impression of the Finished Attraction
Artist Impression of the Finished Attraction

The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) still needs to raise £0.5m to make the plan happen and they hope to launch a public appeal later this year.

Here’s a little history on the line from the BBC:

Mail Rail was approved by an Act of Parliament a century ago, and during its heyday its driverless trains carried 12 million postal items daily on the line stretching from East End’s Whitechapel to west London’s Paddington.

In its prime, 220 people worked on the line, which runs beneath Oxford Street in central London – at one point within a few feet of the Bakerloo Line.

But by the 1990s, Royal Mail built a new hub in Willesden, west London, and by 2003, only three of eight Mail Rail stations still worked

Sounds really cool! Can’t wait to take a ride on the old train and explore London from below!

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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  1. Maybe I missed it but exactly what part of the former underground railway mail system would this encompass? I only ask because I have written a series of novels, Blood Underground, that centre around a group of vampires that inhabit the unused and nearly forgotten mail tunnels underneath the main mail sorting station. As the series continues it would be nice to know whether I need to relocate my characters to another location. Thanks!

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