Mail by Rail Event 20th/21st September

Learn how the post was sorted on and exchanged from a moving train for over 100 years

In the days gone by nearly all the country’s mail was moved by rail. It would have been exchanged on the move from specialised coaches called ‘Travelling Post Office’ (TPO) Coaches on routes all across the country. Peterborough in particular was central to the UK’s distribution network. The Nene Valley Railway is one of the few places in the country that this spectacle can be seen. Come and visit us on 20th/21st September for our Mail by Rail event where we will have one of the largest and most diverse collections of road and rail postal vehicles in the country on display over the weekend.

This year’s event will feature visiting New Build A1 No. 60163 ‘Tornado’ alongside Standard 5 73050 ' City of Peterborough'. The event will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of the final TPO journey on the UK rail network.

 tornado angie

Due to maintenance on the coaches, this event will be the only Post Office Event taking place on the NVR this year.

Attractions will include:

  • Learn how post was sorted and exchanged on the move.
  • Explore our mail coaches and have a go at sorting the letters. Experienced sorters could sort 30 a minute. How many can you sort?
  • See the progress on the only surviving coach from the train, M30272M which is under restoration at Wansford. (Tours at 10.45 and 12.15)
  • Come to Ferry Meadows to see our London Underground Post Office Railway Unit, Class 325 Mail Cab and the progress on The Night Mail Museum we are building on site. (Tour at 14.05)
  • Kids can take part in our Rail Mail Trail and write a letter to Thomas whilst he’s in the Railway Hospital for the chance to win a small prize.
  • Our large collection of road vehicles will be on display
  • Postal groups and displays will also be visiting
  • The British Postal Museum and Archive will be in attendance
  • Our extensive second hand book coach will be open on platform 4. All funds raised go towards the restoration of the TPO vehicles.


mk1 1 MPO 01 MPO 02 frame LMS shunt 02 tpo-steam october03 tornado lres


Update: 16/9/14


See the restoration progress on M30272M, the last remaining coach of the Great Train Robbery. Tours start at 10.45 and 12.15 from the Station Masters Office on Platform 2.

See the progress of The Night Mail Project at Ferry Meadows.
At Ferry Meadows we have a cab from a modern class 325 electric multiple unit on display as well as a vehicle from the mysterious London Post Office Railway amongst other exhibits. You can also see the progress on the museum which we are planning on building on site. A tour of the site will start at 14.05 each day from Ferry Meadows Station. We recommend those travelling take the 13.50 from Wansford (Train tickets will be required).


cab 02 underground


Update: 31/7/14

We are pleased to announce that The Luton Model Railway Club will be in attendance with their model diorama of The Great Train Robbery, '03.24 8-8-63'. This model has featured extensively on The BBC News Website, The Mail Online, and The Mirror amongst others. It will be the only opportunity to see both the model and M30272M, the only surviving coach from the train.

The Luton Model Railway Club ‘O’ Gauge section present their latest group venture. But rather than another layout they decided to create something with a difference. This diorama depicts the events which took place in the early hours of the morning of 8th August 1963 at a lonely section of the West Coast Main Line, just a few miles to the south of Leighton Buzzard.

An event which became infamously known as ‘The Great Train Robbery’, where a gang of around 15 robbers attacked a southbound mail train and made off with almost 3 million pounds, a huge fortune at the time. The rest is history and well documented elsewhere, but this scene shows the actual robbery taking place.

The Class 40 (EE type 4) locomotive (D326) hauling the postal train that was the subject of the Great Train Robbery. This ill-fated locomotive was involved in multiple accidents during its service life, and contributed to the deaths of at least twenty people. The locomotive was cut up at Doncaster in the 1980’s.




How to find us:
Wansford Station:
Turn off the A1 at the new Stibbington fly over, which is 1 mile south of the A1 / A47 interchange and 4 miles north of the end of the A1(M). Look for the large brown "Nene Valley Railway" signs on both the A1 and A47.
Note: Avoid Wansford village on the opposite side of the A1.
Parking: Free
Sat Nav: PE8 6LR
For other stations see