Royal Mail has chosen DB Schenker Rail to take over its entire rail operation as of today. The logistics company is taking over the multi year contract from First Group’s GBRf.
DB Schenker is running the first train for Royal Mail today, on its route from London Willesden to Glasgow via Warrington. The contract is for seven services per day but it can cover more at busy periods.
Of the 70 million items delivered by Royal Mail each day, 1 million are distributed by rail.
Alain Thauvette, chief executive of DB Schenker, said: “Rail forms an important component of Royal Mail’s distribution network and we look forward to delivering innovative, reliable and cost effective services for them.”
DB Schenker will be using the royal Mail’s own 325 trains in Royal Mail livery. However, there are no plans to re-introduce the travelling post offices.
The Royal Mail first used the railways for mail distribution in 1830. Travelling post offices reached their peak shortly before World War II, when there were 77 in operation, prompting the famous poem Night Mail W H Auden.
The last travelling post office was retired in 2004.