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Another rail mail hub opened in October as part of Royal Mail's 150 million Railnet project which is centred on Willesden, London, which is the biggest rail station built in Britain this century.

Six other regional hubs are located at Tonbridge, Low Fell on Tyneside, Doncaster, Stafford, Warrington, and Wishaw, Lanarkshire.

Our picture shows Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar with Post Office staff at the opening. Nine trains a day now use the new 12m Wishaw depot, five heading south and four north-bound arrivals.

EWS runs 55 trains a night across the country for Royal Mail, 16 of which are the new dual-voltage class 325 units one of which was named at Wishaw, after Stirlingshire-born John Grierson who made the famous film Night Mail in 1936.

At about the time the Wishaw hub was being opened, Russian railways resumed carrying mail after the national postal service promised to settle its huge debts.

The railway stopped carrying mail two weeks before in protest over the post office's failure to pay its 10 million bills. The stand-off stranded hundreds of rail cars around the country stuffed with letters and packages. The post office, which is chronically in debt, says it is owed money by the government.

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