Ten Years since the end of the Travelling Post Office

Is it really ten years since I watched the last West Coast TPO roll to a stop in Carlisle Station in the wee hours?
This retweet from the NRM blog marks the recent anniversary.

National Railway Museum blog

Today’s guest blog was written by Sarah Carr from the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) and looks at the history of the Travelling Post Office. 

Ten years ago today the Royal Mail’s Travelling Post Offices (TPO) undertook their final journey. The TPOs were used for sorting and delivering mail for over 160 years, running routes the length and breadth of the country from Newcastle to Penzance and Swansea to London.

When they were introduced in 1838 the Travelling Post Offices were a pioneering way of transporting mail. Before the invention and widespread use of automobiles and aircraft the TPOs offered an efficient way to transport mail across the country.

Over their long history they also encountered a variety of disasters. Among the worst of these was in 1879 when the TayBridge collapsed as a Travelling Post Office was crossing. Everyone on board was killed but there was an attempt…

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2 thoughts on “Ten Years since the end of the Travelling Post Office

  1. I worked for Royal Mail (I’m retired now) and, used to be on Crewe Station servicing the TPOs. God knows how many mail bags we unloaded/loaded during our shifts but, it was a great job! Not being certain now of the timings (it is a few years ago), there was the Down Special, Up Special, Manchester-Dover, later returning as the D-M, Peterbourgh-Crewe (and return),Holyhead-Crewe, (again a return), Down Special, York-Shrewsbury, Cardiff-Crewe (return),,,,.I’m sure there were one or two more I’ve forgotten but, a touch of Dementia makes me a bit forgetful! (There were also the thousands of bags we off loaded from the , seemingly endless, mail carrying trains that came into the Bays).

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