Royal Mail to abandon specialised fleet

Updated 12 July

Royal Mail is planning to transfer its last movements of mail from its own trains to a mixture of road and third-party rail. The reasons are said to be the cost of electric traction and the increasing difficulty of maintaining the 30-year old Class 325 Royal Mail fleet.

The change is set to take place this October.

Mail has been carried by train since the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1830, although specialised mail trains came a little later.

There was a brief gap after the last Travelling Post Offices, which were mobile sorting offices, were withdrawn in November 2003. The Post Office underground railway in London was closed at the same time.

However simple tenders, carrying trolleys of mail bags, returned to rail on a couple of routes soon afterwards, and have been running until now.

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