How Our Mail Moves

From Trains to Trucks, Vans and Bikes

In the past, the condition of roads varied a lot but even on a good road, travel by mail coach could be slow and sometimes dangerous. Ireland had its fair share of Highwaymen who robbed postmen and mail coaches and sometimes the mail had to be protected by armed guard. Items such as money, post bills and bank notes made robbing the post attractive to people who were poor and desparate. When railways came, the mail coach was gradually replaced throughout the country.

As an island Ireland relied on mail boats and steam ships to move mails and goods between countries. The ships on the Irish Sea were some of the fastest in the world. A lot of mail passed through Queenstown, now Cobh, in County Cork on its way to North America.

The Train Travels of An Post

Mail coaches drawn by horses were used to deliver the mail around the country for years and years. But when a railway system was invented, things really took off.

For over 100 years, up  to 1994, the Travelling Post Office was set up on lots of Irish trains all around the country. It was much quicker and a much safer way of delivering the mail than ever before and they could even sort the mail on the train. All aboard!

Today, trains are no longer used to sort and deliver the mail. Instead, there are lots of vans and trucks that bring the mail to the four different mail centres so they can be sorted overnight. Then they are ready for delivery by van, bike and even by postmen on foot, to homes and businesses all around the country the very next morning!

Fun Fact

Fun Fact

A long time ago, the postman used to deliver the mail on horseback! Imagine opening the door to find your postman on a horse - wouldn’t that be great? You could even give him a carrot - the horse that is, not the postman!