A secret, hidden railway that runs underneath the streets of London is set to open to the public for the first time next year. The ‘Mail Rail’, which is a 22-mile long electric railway line used by the Royal Mail that took 14 years to build, opened in 1927 and was used to transport post between Paddington and Whitechapel. The line was closed 13 years ago in 2003 after the sorting offices started being sold off (focussing more on ‘street level transportation’ we’re assuming).
It was the world’s first driverless electric railway, and despite (in its heyday) carrying 12 million postal items daily, is often referred to as a Tube miniature. It has, up until now, been somewhat of a London legend, having never been open to the public (or even to the press for that matter)…making the fact that it is going to be turned into an underground ride just that bit more exciting. The new attraction will take visitors 7oft underground and within inches of filthy tunnel walls and limescale stalactites hanging from the roof, as the tunnels are far smaller than what you’d expect – reducing to 7ft (2.1m) in diameter in some areas. We’ll probably never complain about the Tube being cramped after this, it seems…
A sort of microcosm of frozen history, this is a subterranean adventure we most certainly will be embarking on! Described as the Post Office’s “best kept secret“, this “holy grail” for underground explorers will take visitors from the new Postal Museum, opening across the road, and the eastbound and westbound platforms and is expected to open in spring 2017.
Featured Image Credit: engadget