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Rail Mail

Postby mikegayton » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:24 pm

Visit to Mail Rail
On Friday 9th March, Bob and I set off to visit Mail Rail. Among the many locos at Hoo Junction was COLAS 37219, not sure how long ago I last saw a 37 there.
We travelled by the slow route to use the dive-under approaching London Bridge, and see how the great cavern underneath the station is developing (slowly).
As there seems to be no railway station of any sort close to Mail Rail we went by bus and saw how London is still changing and luckily, presumably due to all the work being carried out, we returned by a completely different route.
Arrived at Mail Rail 10 minutes before our 11.15 departure (you have to book), and squeezed (the only downside) into our seats on the red train. It was a one train service on the day. The green train was on the adjacent siding. We set off into the tunnel, where we stopped several times and viewed appropriate interesting dioramas on the tunnel walls. At one stage we had a fleeting glimpse of the abandoned trains in the tunnel below.
On returning to the starting point, which had been the workshop, we were able to examine battery loco 3 (and if you really like a squeeze you can get in the cab!). We had seen number 2 in the tunnel, There is a comprehensive display of the equipment needed on the main line mail trains and trackside to catch and drop mail on the move, as well some of mail carrying stock used on the Post Office Railway itself.
Then across the road to the more general mail museum which had plenty of interest,
On the way back we stopped off at Abbey Wood to see how development is going. The first time we had been there since the bridge entrance and ticket hall was opened. One feature not seen before was the display screen of the expected trains mounted on a post in the open air in the station forecourt. Within the station area there is a wooden fence between Crossrail and Southeastern tracks.
345021 was parked at a Crossrail platform.
Another good day out. We certainly found Mail Rail well worth the visit.
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