Mail se­cret

With the open­ing of the Postal Mu­seum, one of the hid­den mys­ter­ies of Lon­don will be un­veiled.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel -

THE in­au­gu­ra­tion of the new Postal Mu­seum sees the Bri­tish cap­i­tal open the doors to one of its best-kept se­crets. From July 28, the mu­seum will take vis­i­tors into a mys­te­ri­ous maze deep be­neath the streets to dis­cover the first un­der­ground rail­way for trans­port­ing mail.

A top-se­cret place in the Bri­tish cap­i­tal, The Post Of­fice Un­der­ground Rail­way – dubbed “Mail Rail” – was used to trans­port let­ters, parcels and post­cards via an un­der­ground net­work be­tween Padding­ton and Whitechapel. The “Mail Rail” sys­tem op­er­ated from 1927 to 2003.

The idea came about at the turn of the 20th cen­tury when Lon­don was sub­merged in a thick smog and roads were con­gested. Note that Eng­land was a fore­run­ner in the field of un­der­ground trans­porta­tion, with plans for the first un­der­ground rail sys­tem dat­ing from 1827 and the first un­der­ground rail­way line open­ing in 1863.

The 10km-long tun­nel has never been open to the pub­lic be­fore, but from July 28, it will take vis­i­tors back in time to mark the open­ing of the Postal Mu­seum. The mu­seum likens the sys­tem to the world’s first so­cial net­work, and of­fers cu­ri­ous vis­i­tors a glimpse of how mail was trans­ported be­neath the Lon­don streets.

Vis­i­tors will be taken 21m be­low street level on a tour last­ing around 15 min­utes. It is a unique op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore this clan­des­tine net­work, which was used to hide valu­able works from the Tate Gallery and the Na­tional Por­trait Gallery dur­ing the First World War, as well as the Rosetta Stone, now housed in the Bri­tish Mu­seum.

The his­tory of Lon­don’s “Mail Rail” will also be cel­e­brated with an ac­com­pa­ny­ing ex­hi­bi­tion space, fea­tur­ing doc­u­ments, post­cards and more.

En­try prices are yet to be an­nounced, but tick­ets are ex­pected to cost around £16 (RM89). The Postal Mu­seum will open 10am to 5pm daily. – AFP Re­laxnews

The ‘Mail Rail’ un­der­ground rail­way car­ried mail be­neath the streets of the Bri­tish cap­i­tal from 1927 to 2003. — AFP

Villa La Ruga in Italy is the top-rated va­ca­tion rental on Tri­pAd­vi­sor’s high-end list. — AFP

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