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Secret Underground
     Nick Cunard/zReportage.com via ZUMA (bios)
Deep under the streets of London, a disused railway tunnel stretches for six miles. Opened in 1927, the mail line runs beneath Oxford Street in central London, and became the world's only electric underground railway dedicated to moving mail as driverless trains carried up to 12 million letters daily from East End's Whitechapel to west London's Paddington. A century ago, in the days of predominantly horse-drawn vehicles, congestion was causing delays to the movement of mail. In 1911 a railway report concluded London's traffic speeds would never surpass 6mph, convincing the British Parliament to approve plans to build the railway, which could run at 40mph. Fast forward almost 100 years and in 2003 Royal Mail said the line cost five times as much as using roads and the historic network was shut down. Closed for over a decade, there are now plans to reopen the London Post Office Railway - known to many as Mail Rail - as a tourist ride.
Secret Underground
     Nick Cunard/zReportage.com via ZUMA (bios)
Deep under the streets of London, a disused railway tunnel stretches for six miles. Opened in 1927, the mail line runs beneath Oxford Street in central London, and became the world's only electric underground railway dedicated to moving mail as driverless trains carried up to 12 million letters daily from East End's Whitechapel to west London's Paddington. A century ago, in the days of predominantly horse-drawn vehicles, congestion was causing delays to the movement of mail. In 1911 a railway report concluded London's traffic speeds would never surpass 6mph, convincing the British Parliament to approve plans to build the railway, which could run at 40mph. Fast forward almost 100 years and in 2003 Royal Mail said the line cost five times as much as using roads and the historic network was shut down. Closed for over a decade, there are now plans to reopen the London Post Office Railway - known to many as Mail Rail - as a tourist ride.