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Railhub Archive
1997-09-10 RTK-001
Railtrack plc


Railtrack opens £1 million national deeds archive centre in Kent

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Railtrack plc

Railtrack opens £1 million national deeds archive centre in Kent

10 September 1997
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

Railtrack today formally opened its new £1 million national deeds archive centre at a futuristic looking building near Gillingham Station.

With over three and a half miles of shelving and an estimated two million pieces of paper Gillingham will be Railtrack's biggest and most important document storage area in Britain.

The first and biggest collection of deeds, numbering over a quarter of a million documents, has already been moved in from the Central London archive. Archives in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and York are being transferred over the next few months with the last, Glasgow, moving at the end of the year.

Bob Hill, Railtrack Director of Property said; "These documents are absolutely fundamental to our business covering ownership of every piece of land the railway owns and includes plans and drawings of some of Britain's most famous railway landmarks."

The new centre has been fitted out for this specialist use. Miles and miles of shelving has been installed, archiving computer systems, microfilm camera and reading equipment, environmental control systems and hi-tech fire suppression systems using inert gas. The centre is a high security building with steel palisade security fencing, electronic swipe card entry and CCTV security.

"We have some very interesting documents already," commented David Marr, deeds custodial manager. "The signatures of Charles 11 and Sir Christopher Wren, and the original seal of George 1V feature on some of our historic records, the oldest of which dates back to around the 1640's."

The 33,000 sq ft building was originally built by British Rail to control signalling in North Kent but was superseded by Ashford Signalling Centre.

A dedicated, full time team of seven staff will look after the estimated 25 tonnes of documents. Cataloguing, microfilming, acting as custodians and librarians for this vast source of information and knowledge. The archive centre will also care for the title deeds and documents belonging to British Rail.

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-09-10 RTK-001


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