This was another one of those what the fuck just happened moments in my life.
So I was on my way back from (not so) sunny South Wales with @The_Raw @extreme_ironing and @sentinel after visiting @Lenston when I got a call from a very excited @Frosty. "Mail Rail is doable." I know by now if he says something is possible then he's normally right. We had looked at ways into the network on many many occasions, each time being thwarted at the 11th hour by something so this was high on our list and deserved all our attention.
Initially like a fool I passed on this trip. Well I was supposed to be at work early the next day and I was, for want of a better word, fucked. An enthusiastic night out drinking the night before had definitely taken it's toll. However on my home to sunny(er) Kent after dropping some people off in London, I realised what an immense idiot I was being and 4 hours later found myself back where I had just been with the people I had just been with (minus @sentinel who was sleeping off his weekend) emerging into the gloomy depths of the abandoned tunnels. It was an insane day.
The Post office Railway (or Mail rail as it became known) is for many considered the 'holy grail' of exploration, especially in London. I can understand why, you've got an entire abandoned miniature underground railway complete with stations, rolling stock, miles of tunnel and the powers still on. It's pretty cool. You can walk for miles under London's streets and not really know where you are and it's also not that easy to access.
It was constructed in the early part of the 20th century to link together some of the main London sorting offices and alleviate delays that occurred in moving mail around London on the surface. Construction started in 1915, but was suspended just over a year later due to labour shortages. The line was eventually completed and became available for use during 1927 and was in service from February 1928 onward.
I could go into the detailed history of the railway and it's design, but I'd be writing for ages and there's plenty online about it if you want to do some research. Needless to say that by the early 2000's the system was in need of major investment to keep it working efficiently and now only had 3 stations out of the original 7 due to relocation of the sorting offices above. In 2003 the railway was officially mothballed, but has more-or-less been totally abandoned. It would take a significant injection of cash to even think about bringing it back into service and there wouldn't be much point as there's now only 2 live sorting offices located on the route, pity.
In October 2013 the British postal museum announced plans to open part of the network to the public and indeed this is pressing ahead. In the coming years it will be possible to visit the station and workshops at Mount Pleasant and (apparently) go on a short train ride round one of the loops. I'm actually pleased at least part of the system is being preserved because it is a unique place and deserves it's place in history. I just hope they do a good job and don't make it too gimmicky.
What you see here is only a small section of the line from Rathbone place to Mount Pleasant. I needed to get home so I left after we reached Mount Pleasant. Regretted it ever since because try thou we might we've not managed to get back in, but we have got oh so close (oh you have no idea!)
So on with some photos. It won't be anything you've not seen before, but here is my take on the Post Office Railway.
Rathbone station is now a tad damp because of the building work going on above it.
Typical tunnel section twin tracks
Before the stations, the twin tracks break into two smaller tunnels and split apart to go either side of the platform.
This was actually an abandoned tunnel to the original western district office which was re-located in 1958. The abandoned tunnel was used as a siding to store locomotives and wagons in.
Trains in tunnels
Just before Mount Pleasant station, you have these massive doors, which I'm lead to believe are for flood protection.
Coming up to Mount Pleasant
And that's as far as I went.
Thanks for Looking!
By Dubbed Navigator
As the title says
Thought of it when I found a load today of explores I did years ago.A quick commentry as to why would be good too.
I think this was my first trip to West Park. It had been started the night before in the neigthbouring park, progressed to dodging the PIRs and then the infamous MC hammer. Good times.
I wont bore you with too much history, this place has been done before, and has been done better than my attempt. I just want to share some of my stuff, and hopefully get to know some people on the forum as I am pretty new to urbex.
St Joseph's College, Upholland is a former Roman Catholic seminary in Upholland, Lancashire, England. The foundation of the large building was laid in April 1880 and college was opened in 1883. The buildings have recently been deconsecrated.
In 1986 the total number of students was down to 82, of whom only 54 were Church students, and it was no longer viable to educate them on the premises. From 1987 the remaining students attended St John Rigby College in nearby Orrell for their schooling, an arrangement that continued until the very last of these students left Upholland in 1992.
My Version =
I was planning on visiting Crank Caverns with a few friends to start our exploring adventures with an easy location, but on route, I found the College. We parked quite a bit away from the main road into the spot, so I dont even know what that side looks like, but I will be returning. We approached through the woods, down a public footpath and arrived at the amazing building. We spent around 15 minutes taking a few snaps, looking at possible entrance points, but by the time we made it around to the cemetary, a friendly security guard came around and informed us that we were trespassing and had to leave. We had a bit of a chat with the friendly bloke before heading off on our way with a bit more information.
My friends and I also run a facebook page where we post all of our outdoorsy stuff, bikes, urbex, 4x4ing, anything really. https://www.facebook.com/0151outdoors/
Anyway, heres some pictures, if anyone here can shed some light on approaching this place with more chance of success, give me a message please.