CUMBRIA’S travelling post West TPO mail train pulled into Carlisle station for the final time on Saturday, January 10, 2004 marking the and eight end of 166 years of rail history.

The Royal Mail axed its Travelling Post Offices (TPO) under cost-cutting plans to save the company £90 million a year.

At 3.56am on that morning the North West TPO - one of 11 mobile sorting offices still in operation - ended its last ever journey in Carlisle. In future, post was to be carried by road or air.

West TPO marked the end of the line for its 38 workers.

Among them were 18 Cumbrians and eight “Carlisle cockneys” - staff from London who settled at the northern end of the route.

West Cumbrian Mike Howe, said he was “very sad” to see the TPO end but glad to be going back to his family after doing his time.

He said: “Most people are sad to be going under these circumstances. They would rather have left the TPO instead of TPO leaving them. But I’m pleased to be going after 29 years. I want to spend more time with my missus”.

Mail sorter David Ballantyne, 63, of Coledale Meadows, Carlisle said he was sad to go.