NFTVA leader. Main title and credits. 8.30pm weekdays and Sundays the Postal Express leaves Euston for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. It is a fast express and carries no passenger only post office workers. Half a million letters are posted, sorted, dropped or carried on for delivery throughout the journey. Aerial shot of steam train. Signal men receiving messages along the line that the Postal Express is approaching. The Postal Express thunders down the track. Workmen repair the railway tracks. A foreman blows a whistle to clear the track for the train. Footage of the train on its journey. Commentary declares, four million miles every year, 500 million letters every year, the train whistle blows. Signal man asks station to shunt the local train for Special Express. Commentary continues, trains from Lincolnshire and Derbyshire connect at Tamworth, trains from Warwickshire and Leicestershire connect at Rugby
A man walks across a farmyard leading a shire horse. He checks his watch and walks towards the track. The Express appears and his newspaper is thrown beside the track which he picks up. Footage of train on its journey and surrounding countryside. At 34 points between London and Glasgow postmen wait with local mail to deliver them to the Postal Special Express. The postmen set up a net to catch the mail dropped by the train. They strap up the mail bags in strong leather pouches. The pouches are fixed to a stand by a spring clip. A net is swung out from the train as it approaches the train. The impact releases the spring clip and the pouches are swept into the train. Accompanying footage of this entire process. A smog covered Crewe - the main junction for the Midlands - a thousand bags of post are brought there from all over the Midlands. Footage of the mail in sacks being piled up. Footage of control room where Expresses are reported at regular intervals. The station calls the control room to ask if they can delay the Express by 4 minutes to wait for another mail train from Holyhead and are given the go ahead.
The Express approaches Crewe station and is loaded and unloaded with the mail bags. The engines are changed and some of the English crew exchanged for Scots. The new crew put on their work-coats and start to chalk up the train's sorting carriage's pigeon holes. The engine is uncoupled and a new one attached. The Holyhead train arrives and its mail is loaded unto the Express. The guard blows the whistle and the Express leaves Crewe with a 100 tonnes of new letters to sort. The postal special delivers the mail to the industrial North of England. See train thundering past collieries and factories.
Footage of men sorting mail in sorting carriage on train. There are seven sorting vans on the Postal Special. Each sorter has 48 pigeonholes each representing a town. The packets are sorted separately. As the train progresses the names scribbled in chalk above the pigeonholes are changed. Once a pigeonhole is full the letters are tied in a bundle and the bundles are put into labelled bags hanging behind the sorters. When the bag is full it is tied labelled and sealed ready for dispatch. A postal worker puts mail into a leather pouch for dispatch and attaches it to a post with a spring clip to be collected in a net beside the railway line. He is helped to time the approach to the nets by a colleague. See the post successfully being deposited into the nets.
Men continue to sort mail on the train. Footage of train travelling on its route through both industrial and rural landscapes to Glasgow accompanied by the poem, 'Nightmail' by W.H. Auden. Express arrives at Glasgow and men polish the engine. End title.