Mail by Rail

The Story of the Post Office and the Railways

Peter Johnson

Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
200 color & black and white illustrations & maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526776136

Dimensions : 9.6 X 6.7 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 296
Also available as an ebook:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo


Railways have been used for the carriage of mail since soon after the Liverpool & Manchester Railway opened in 1830, the development of the first travelling post offices following, enabling the Post Office to achieve maximum efficiencies in mail transportation. As the rail network grew the mail network grew with it, reaching a peak with the dedicated mail trains that ran between London and Aberdeen.

The Post Office also turned to railways when it sought a solution to the London traffic that hindered its operations in the Capital, obtaining powers to build its own narrow gauge, automatic underground railway under the streets to connect railway stations and sorting offices. Although construction and completion were delayed by the First World War, the Post Office (London) Railway was eventually brought into use and was an essential part of Post Office operations for many years.

Changing circumstances brought an end to both the travelling post offices and the underground railway but mail is still carried, in bulk, by train and a part of the railway has found a new life as the Mail Rail tourist attraction.

Author Peter Johnson has delved into the archives and old newspapers to uncover the inside story of the Post Office and its use of railways to carry the mail for nearly 200 years.

About The Author

PETER JOHNSON is the author of more than 30 books, mainly about Welsh and narrow-gauge railways.

His association with the Ffestiniog Railway, as editor of the Ffestiniog Railway Society’s quarterly magazine (1974-2003), as a director of the Ffestiniog Railway Society (1992-2003) and in drafting the company’s Welsh Highland Railway Transport & Works Order, and as the compiler of a narrow-gauge railway news column for one of the mainstream British railway magazines since 1995, has put him in a good position to compile this story of the Welsh Highland Railway’s history and its revival, his third title for Pen & Sword Transport.

Similar Titles