Restoration of the Controller’s Platform in the Postal Museum
By the early 20th century London’s streets were choked with traffic and communications stifled. In 1927, a subterranean postal network was opened by the Post Office – a series of tunnels and mail depots linked underground to the national railway termini. It had the first driverless, electrified trains in the world. Unknown to most Londoners, the system remained operational until 2003.
The main will be at the centre of a new £25 million Postal Museum and experience, opening in 2017. Visitors will ride reconditioned mail trains through part of the network. It offers a world-class example of industrial heritage, and as much of the original system will be retained as possible, including the overhead cabling, tracks and control mechanisms.
The elevated Mail Rail Controller’s Platform was the only non-automated part of the system. It enabled the Controller to manoeuvre the trains around the depot to reach the Post Office engineers for repair and maintenance. The Heritage of London Trust is supporting its restoration, and it will be at the centre of the new reception space in the Museum.