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The Mail Train is a train that consists of rolling stock used to transport letters and parcels throughout the Island of Sodor and the Mainland. Pulling the Mail Train is noted as being one of Percy's favourite jobs. Hong-Mei pulls the mail train in China.
The Mail Vans (also known as the Sodor Mail Coaches) are rolling stock used for transporting letters and parcels throughout the railway.
These vans are utility van that form the Mail Train, which is usually pulled by either Thomas or Percy. Oliver was once briefly transferred to the service and at times when the train is unable to run, Harold usually deputizes for it. Ryan takes a mail van from Arlesburgh West up to Harwick every morning. Percy is almost always in charge, although other engines pull them occasionally. He is also almost always seen pulling two trucks though occasionally he has pulled more.
In the Railway Series, the mail vans are based on general utility vans (GUV).
In the television series, the mail vans are based on the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Diagram 960 Parcels and Miscellaneous Vans (PMV), introduced in 1919. This van was designated the standard for the Southern Railway, and remained in production, updated as the Diagram 3103, until 1951, remaining in regular service until 1986, with a few surviving on departmental duties into the 1990s. These vans were used primarily for the transportation of letters and parcels. The utility vans share the same basis.
In the Railway Series, the mail vans were painted plain brown. In Series 3, they were reddish-orange with grey roofs. Starting in Series 4, the mail vans were painted crimson. Beginning with the CGI Series, they gained black roofs. In the Model Series, they had "SODOR MAIL" on both sides, but was changed to an envelope with wings in the CGI Series.
- All the mail van models are currently on display at Drayton Manor. One used to be on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
- From the third to fifth series, the mail vans were made out of Tenmille Gauge 1 Utility van kits. From Thomas and the Magic Railroad to the twelfth series, they were scratch built.
- In the third and fourth series, two separate trains were pulled by Thomas and Percy as the load was too heavy for one engine to do the work alone.
- The mail vans have gone through a couple of modifications over the years:
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
- Their roofs became slightly larger.
- Their bufferbeams are lowered.
- They became slightly taller.
- Their liveries became slightly darker.
- The words "Sodor" and "Mail" was shifted slightly towards the centre, so the words fit completely on the doors.
- Hero of the Rails:
- Their "Sodor Mail" logos were replaced with envelopes with wings.
- Series 22:
- The black metal borders at either end of the vans are painted red and gain a wooden texture to match the main bodywork.
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
- The Capsule Plarail toys are repainted from JNR Coach's toys.
- A unused Mail Van Interior was made during production of season 3.
- ERTL (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (with Pull 'n 'zoom Percy; discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (normal and see-inside; discontinued)
- Motorized Railway
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Collectible Railway
- Adventures (with Talking Percy; discontinued)
- Hornby (two versions; discontinued)
- Capsule Plarail
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (with a brake van; discontinued)
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Choro-Q (discontinued)
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
These trucks are special 7-Plank Trucks that have often been used as part of the Mail Train. These trucks have been pulled by Edward and Percy. James once helped Edward deliver these trucks containing presents from Brendam Docks to Knapford.
These trucks are based on 7-plank trucks.
These trucks are painted crimson with black frames. Their Take Along toys, depict them with "SODOR MAIL" on both sides.
- In the third series episode, Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure, mail was transported in standard grey trucks which were pulled by Thomas.