In 1994 the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) acquired a Traveling Post Office (TPO) on loan from the National Railway Museum. It was a Maunsell designed, fully equipped sorting vehicle without mail bag exchange apparatus. The NVR used this vehicle as a static exhibit to house the Railway’s ‘museum’.
During the same year a desire was aroused among a small number of volunteers to acquire a working TPO vehicle of their own. Once again the National Railway Museum became the focus of attention when it was announced that they wished to dispose of an ex-LMS TPO M30272M that was equipped as a full sorting vehicle, but this time with full mail bag exchange facilities.
Eventually this coach was acquired and fund raising began in earnest with the formation of a Group of ‘Friends’ to support this aim. A long uphill struggle commenced to raise money to restore a coach which was in really poor condition.
While this was going on the enthusiasm to operate a working TPO became more intense. To make this possible the Locomotive Club of Great Britain loaned the NVR for a long term, a set of lineside standards that would allow the Group to hire a TPO from other sources to demonstrate the working of the mail bag exchange equipment. In 2000 the very first mail bag exchange took place to the east of Wansford.
Eventually, when the TPO service ceased in 2004 NVR was able to acquire 4 Mk1 TPO's from EWS. One of these vehicles was able to be equipped with mail bag exchange equipment and now has a four-set TPO rake of its own.
During the interim an 1885 GNR TPO coach body has been acquired as has a fifth Mk1 TPO used by the Railway’s civil engineers.