Postal Trains

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by DescendingSadly, 26 Nov 2011.

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  1. DescendingSadly

    DescendingSadly Member

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    Hi all,

    Can anyone provide any comprehensive information on the current postal trains that run from Shieldmuir - Willesden? Do they have any RM crew on board? What goes on, on board while the train is travelling? Does it run often? Where do they source drivers?

    All information would be fantastic. Thanks.
     
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  3. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

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    No sorting happens on board, as far as I know mail is carried in pre packed containers. Trains run daily with Drivers from DBS.
     
  4. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    There are no traveling post offices, as such, any more. I think the last staffed traveling post office ran in about 2004. Aside from the additional staffing costs (and the premiums paid to staff who'd be working at night and who might need to spend a night away from home) the simple fact is that mail sorting is a hugely automated process now - it involves large sophisticated machines that automatically read addresses and sort post. You can't fit these processes in a train, so the only remaining Royal Mail services are for delivery of pre-sorted containers.

    The 325 class trains are basically EMU freighters - they carry cages of mail and that's it. There aren't even any gangways between the carriages for personnel to move between them.
     
  5. DescendingSadly

    DescendingSadly Member

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    Thanks guys, so are the crates loading by fork lift truck? Does the train get the same priority as an express passenger train, with it carrying the class 1 headcode?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    I would imagine so yes, as you can't stop the queens mail
     
  7. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    The contract for the carriage of mail by rail is once again with DB Schenker now. DB provide the drivers for the trains, who are part of the link that drives the Caledonian Sleepers between Euston and Glasgow/Edinburgh.

    The Class 325 Electric Postal Units (15 units operational plus 325010 acting as a "christmas tree") carry mail in York cages, which were once a common sight at many major railway stations around Britain. The driving vehicles can accomodate 42 York cages and the intermediate vehicles are designed to carry 44. By way of comparison, Royal Mails' newest "double stack" lorry trailers can accomodate 92 Yorks and the older double stacks can take 74.

    In transit, the Yorks are held in place by fairly heavy duty straps and buckles which are affixed to the inner walls of the units. As has already been said, there is no sorting carried out en route, and no Royal Mail staff travel on board the trains. The York cages are manually pushed and pulled on and off the trains by Royal Mail staff at the mail terminals, with typically a small team of 6-8 workers entrusted to this task.

    The mail trains run daily. The basic times at Warrington RMT, Monday to Friday, are as follows:
    09:45ish 1S00 06:40 Willesden to Sheildmuir 8 car
    16:45-17:00 ?? : ?? Sheildmuir to Willesden 8 car
    19:09-19:30 15:31 Sheildmuir to Willesden 12 car Runs as 1M44 as far as Warrington, then as 1A97 to Willesden
    19:46-20:02 16:40 Willesden to Sheildmuir 12 car Runs as 1S96
    Arrive 20:20 17:50 Sheildmuir to Warrington 4 car Runs as 1M03
    The same unit then departs as 23:30 Warrington to Sheildmuir running as 1S55

    I think that they get priority in the pecking order of train flighting above most other things.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2011
  8. 33056

    33056 Established Member

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    No, the mail is carried on "York Trolleys" which are manually wheeled onto the trains - all the mail terminals have higher platforms than normal passenger ones with hinged flaps that move to form a ramp onto the train.
    Yes, they are class 1s but no special priority any more as the days of carrying high value stuff has long gone.

    There is only one train each way between Willesden and Warrington at present (1F00 and 1A97 stopped running at the start of September) though there will be three trains a day from next week; start of the Christmas rush :D Northbound ones will leave Willesden at 06:40 (1F00), approx 10:20 (1S??) and 16:40 (1S96), not sure of the exact details at present.

    Also, you can probably add 325 009 to the "Christmas Tree" list as I have not seen it all year (I do see them very regularly)
     
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