Brake Post Office Stowage Van

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Brake Post Office Stowage Van
DSCN2377-mail-coach crop b.jpg
Preserved Great Western Railway vehicle no. 814 at the Didcot Railway Centre.
In service 1959–2004
Manufacturer BR Wolverton & York
Family name British Railways Mark 1
Constructed 1959, 1968
Number built 9
Fleet numbers 80450–80458
Operator(s) British Rail(ways)
Car length 64 ft 6 in (19.66 m)
Width 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
Height 12 ft 9 12 in (3.90 m)
Maximum speed 90–100 mph (145–161 km/h)
Weight 34–36 tonnes (33.5–35.4 long tons; 37.5–39.7 short tons)
Train heating Dual (steam & electric),
ETH 3 or 4
Bogies BR2 or B5
Braking system(s) Vacuum or Dual (Air & Vacuum)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

A Brake Post Office Stowage Van is a type of rail vehicle built for use in a Travelling Post Office.

British Rail built nine of these vehicles between 1959 and 1968, to two similar designs, both based on the Mark 1 coach design. They were numbered in the range 80450-80458. Following the Great Train Robbery, vehicles from 80456 onwards featured a revised design with smaller windows.

In the early 1970s, British Rail introduced the TOPS classification system. Vehicles were given the TOPS code NU, followed by an A if they were air-braked, V if vacuum-braked, or an X if they had both air and vacuum brakes.


All three of the latter-build Mk1 vehicles have been preserved. Also a survivor from GWR has also made it into preservation.

Number TOPS Code Built Location
80456 NUA 1968 York Nene Valley Railway
80457 NUA 1968 York Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough Railway
80458 NUA 1968 York Great Central Railway
Number Company Built Location Notes
814 GWR 1940 Swindon Didcot Railway Centre Only exchange equipped coach with nets on both sides

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