Railway Post

The Grand Junction, which linked Birmingham with the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, was opened on 4th July 1837. Sixteen days later the London to Birmingham line was opened. This meant that the four major cities in England, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool were now all linked together by rail.

The average speed of the first locomotives used on the Grand Junction was 22 mph. This was twice the speed of mail coaches on the road. The Post Office therefore decided to transfer the mails to the railway. In 1838 John Ramsey, a Post Office official, designed a Travelling Post Office carriage. Using a traductor arm and a net, the post office workers were able to collect the mail at stations without the train having to stop.

Travelling Post Office carriage on the Grand Junction Railway
Travelling Post Office carriage on the Grand Junction Railway
© , September 1997 - April 2014