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London’s Secret Underground Railway Is Opening Up Its 100-Year Old Tunnels For Walking Tours

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

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It’s your chance to explore the Mail Rail at a leisurely pace.

Yes, you know all about the Tube, but did you know there’s another underground railway hiding beneath the streets of London – a secret kept for many years by a clandestine organisation of members who delivered sealed messages (codenamed ‘Post’) on a subterranean train. We’re talking, however obliquely, about the Mail Rail, which has been a delightful feature of London’s Postal Museum for a while now (check out the video below for a little glimpse of it!). With the museum closed until the autumn, your best chance to see it right now is on one of their newly-announced walking tours, which will let you explore the mysterious tunnels on foot.

Mail Rail tours are a highly sought-after day out, with tickets only available for a handful of dates each year. Though the lockdown-enforced closure of the museum had made such a tour unlikely this year, it’s a joy to see them running again, albeit not with the thrilling train ride you’d usually be able to enjoy. Having said that, though, visitors aren’t usually granted the chance to explore on foot, which makes this a rather exciting opportunity.

You’ll be able to wander around the tunnels, tracks, and station platforms of a train network that once ferried mail between Paddington and Whitechapel, and even explore parts of the network that aren’t accessible on the standard ride. Plus, experts will be on hand to fill in the stories behind the railway, which began operating in the early 1900s before finally shuttering in 2003. A limited number of tickets are available on six separate dates – September 12, 14, 26, 28, and October 3, 5 – and they’ll cost you £55, with online booking required. Given the unprecedented set of circumstances which has led to this opportunity, it’s no stretch to call it a unique experience – so do jump on those tickets if you fancy a wander!

For more information, head to the Postal Museum website.


Also published on Medium.