I was recently given a GWR 1d Prepaid Newspaper Parcel stamp by a neighbour of ours who is a serious philatelist.
I must admit I had never heard of these before.
After a bit of research it appears that all British railway companies were allowed to carry letters after an 1891 Act- the Railway Letter Act, which laid down the conditions for this trade, which preserved the Post Office monopoly on carrying letters. All Railway Letters had to carry a normal postage stamp plus a railway letter stamp the colour and size of which, together with the price was covered by the legislation.
In simplistic terms the surcharge for the railway letter was fixed at twice the price of the postage stamp.
However there never was any monopoly on the carriage of parcels and therefore the stamp I was given, was not part of any Government legislation, but merely a means of collecting revenue on parcels.
Unlike the railway letter I assume the Newspaper parcel was not delivered by the GPO, but had to be collected by the recipient from their local station.
It being Britain there is of course a group who covers the railway aspects of philately called the Railway Philatelic Group which has over 200 members
Another railway themed interest for winter nights?