Welcome to the Lickey Incline blog devoted to the celebration of the railway and in particular the great days of steam trains both standard and narrow gauge, on the railways of Britain.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Talk on James Cholmeley Russell

Russell - the locomotive named in honour of the NWNGR's Chairman and Receiver

J.C Russell was a London barrister who first became involved with hiring locomotives to the NWNGR. These were Snowdon Ranger, Moel Tryfan and Beddgelert.  He eventually became Receiver of the line.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear about an important figure in the history of what became the Welsh Highland Railway

Nick is chairman of the WHR Heritage Group and has made a study of J.C. Russell.
Thursday March 20th at 7.30 pm Welsh Highland Railway Society - Dennis Carson Room, Dame Elizabeth Hall, Firbank Close (off Oak Tree Lane), Bournville, Birmingham B30 1UA

To book this talk for your organisation call Nick Booker on 01926 864 900 for details

Post Office Railway - Mail Rail

Mail Rail
Mail Rail Visuals

BBC report on the latest news on the Post Office Railway - Mail Rail

The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) plans to open a new postal museum and railway attraction in 2016. The project is gathering pace and we have planning permission for our new home on Phoenix Place, near Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant Sorting Office. Government backing and financial support from Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd has also been announced, with Mayor Boris Johnson describing us as a ‘national treasure of global importance.”   

The Postal Museum

We care for the Royal Mail Archive (Designated as being of outstanding national and international importance) and the museum collection of the former National Postal Museum. Artefacts cover over 400 years of postal history, from classic vehicles, evidence from the Great Train Robbery and a 1st Edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, to rare stamp artwork, posters and uniforms. The collections also include a world-class philatelic collection, 80,000 photographs, letters, maps and war medals. Our vision is for a cherished and valued British postal heritage, providing world class access for all to our world class collections.  Together they tell the story of a great British institution, of the thousands of people that worked there and the industrial and social advances it pioneered. A dedicated learning space will give us a springboard for developing new partnerships with businesses on-site as well as community partners and with outreach activities, we will be able to inspire young people to consider different careers on all sorts of levels.   

Mail Rail

What makes our project particularly exciting is the opportunity to open up a significant proportion of the Post Office Underground Railway, ‘Mail Rail’ for the first time to create a state-of the-art visitor attraction including an exhibition gallery and multi-function event space.  The Mail Rail opened in 1927 and carried the mail along a 6 and a half mile stretch of tunnels from Whitechapel to Paddington. In its heyday, it carried four million letters a day before its closure in 2003.  It is the only railway in the world that was dedicated to delivering mail underground and is one of the most enquired about aspects of British postal history.  It was recently popularised by Michael Portillo in his TV programme, ‘Great British Railway Journeys,’ and many others eagerly seek access to ‘secret’ attractions such as this.  

Early forecasts show that the Mail Rail experience, which will take people on a thrilling 15 minute underground interactive ride, from the depot to the platforms beneath the Mount Pleasant Royal Mail centre, will be a major means of attracting visitors to both the museum and railway.  A 15 minute ride on newly designed trains will journey through the existing tunnels under the Mail centre, with commentary describing the construction of the tunnels, its opening in 1927 when it became the first driverless electrified railway in the world, how mail was moved across London and its operation until 2003. Vehicles on display will include pneumatic rail cars from the 1860s, which were once propelled by air through specially designed tunnels.  Mail Rail remains the only postal underground railway in existence so its preservation and heritage will attract an international audience.