|Tri-ang Hornby Royal Mail Operating Mail Coach|
Well, we did no work at all on the railway during the Christmas and New Year period as we opted, instead, to spend a couple of afternoons simply playing trains - and what fun it was too!
As our latest video shows we operated a variety of workings and we even had the first running of one of our sleeper / mail trains since the installation of the second Pick-up Hook and Receiving Bin at the southern end of the layout.
Of course, on the Lakeland Railway, the Royal Mail is carried by train overnight and the plan is to run two of these combined sleeper-come-mail trains every 'night' with one departing Sueston and the other leaving Davemoor each 'evening'. They will, as such, form the first and last trains of our operating day.
They will usually be formed of two or three Mk 1 seated coaches, a buffet car, two sleeping cars and a Royal Mail Operating Mail Coach. However, we might increase the number of sleeping cars to three if we can get a couple more.
The Mail Coach or Travelling Post Office (TPO) will be positioned at the rear of each train and will collect the mail bag from a Pick-up Hook situated at one end of the layout and deposit it in a Receiving Bin at the other end.
The Tri-ang Operating Mail Coach first appeared in the 1950's when, I believe, the mail was collected and deposited on different sides of the coach. During the 1980's it reappeared in the guise we have here wherein the mail is collected and deposited on the same side.
The coach sported various liveries over the years and these included: BR Maroon, LMS Crimson, BR Blue and Grey and, even, GWR Chocolate and Cream.