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16 September 2008

As can be imagined, the Deeds of all of the properties owned by The National Trust require the very best of safe and secure storage, and this situation has recently been expertly resolved by specialist British manufacturer Railex Systems at the Trust’s magnificent new Central Office in Swindon.

There are some 3500 of these precious and often delicate documents – some of them even dating back to Tudor times – and originally they were stored in equally “dated” four drawer cabinets at the previous main office in London and at regional locations. The Railex solution is based on their famous Mobile design, consisting of the old cabinets being mounted on to a tracked horizontal base laid into the floor, enabling the bays to be opened or closed up at the easy turn of hand wheels at the outer end of each section. The system can be locked for total security, and safety features ensure complete user friendliness. As more capacity was also necessary, Railex cleverly integrated a group of their vertical, fire-resistant cabinets into the Mobile design – offering better protection whilst saving considerable floor space compared to the four drawer units. In turn, the same Railex Mobile concept has been utilised within the Human Resources department – albeit in a more modern and elegant design compared to the necessarily heavy duty version in the Deed Store. The HR version again features cabinets gliding easily along tracks and importantly lockable for sensitive reasons, whilst in this instance the cabinets are of the suspended filing variety and accommodate 4000 sets of personal records. All easily accessible and saving considerable time – and both types of Railex cabinets across the two systems can, if desired, be configured for any kind of contents.

Of note, and befitting the largest conservation chairty of its kind in the world, The National Trust award- winning premises combine superb working conditions with environmental benefits. The low –rise building incorporates day-lighting, natural ventilation, timber from the Trust’s woodlands and undyed wool carpet from their own sheep. The overall impact of the Railex input is summed up by Facilities Manager Liz Adams “ it is a very practical solution and the merger of the different types of cabinets has worked really well. What is also notable about the new Railex fire resistant units, for example, is that they give us a third more capacity and greater interior flexibility in the same footprint as the older style drawer cabinets. As you can imagine, the deeds have huge historical and emotional status, and we now have safety combined with access as well as maximising the value of the space. And equally, the modern and clever HR mobile system fits literally into the style and concept of the building”.

For complete details of Railex Systems products and free planning services please call 01376 505020; email or visit

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