Railway bridge lettering at former Titley Junction station

davetheguard

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I recently walked along a footpath beside the old railway line from Kington to Titley Junction as part of a circular walk in Herefordshire.

Beside the former Titley Junction station, there were the abutments of a former railway bridge over a minor road (the bridge has gone) marked in paint as follows: DFT KGN 11m 43C. I presume the distance is the mileage from the still extant main line near Leominster; and KGN obviously means Kington, the main town on the line; but anyone know what DFT might stand for?

By the way, an enthusiast obviously lives in the former station building at Titley Junction: there's a lot of railwayana; a former Western Region Mk 1 coach W26169; some relaid track and a couple of small industrial diesel shunters.

It should be noted that the site is a private residence, and is not as far as I know open to the public. My pictures were taken from a public footpath.

107. Downside station building at Titley Junction.JPG109. Bridge abutment mark at Titley Junction.JPG
 
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Gloster

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Curious. Old timetables give 11m.48ch. as the distance from Kington Junction, which was 34ch. north of Leominster station. Perhaps the Kington line only formally started 5ch after the junction. The only further comment I can add is that on an old map there is a Broad Farm on what is now the B4361 a short way north of the bridge under Kington line.
 

pdeaves

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I'd rejected DfT for that reason; surely this can't be a modern mark on the bridge can it?
Why not? And how modern is 'modern'? The various successors to BR (in terms of responsibility for structures) still mark bridges appropriately, usually using the old BR designations (i.e., in this case, KGN 11m-43ch).
 

davetheguard

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Why not? And how modern is 'modern'? The various successors to BR (in terms of responsibility for structures) still mark bridges appropriately, usually using the old BR designations (i.e., in this case, KGN 11m-43ch).

Perhaps you're right. But did residual B.R. end up as part of the DfT? Wasn't it at one time the splendidly-named B.R.B.R. (British Rail Board Residual), which I thought ended up -inappropriately- with Highways England?
 

DerekC

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BRBR was nominally independent but in practice operated under DfT's civil service umbrella. However it is a bit surprising that they would mark a bridge in that way.
 

XAM2175

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Perhaps you're right. But did residual B.R. end up as part of the DfT? Wasn't it at one time the splendidly-named B.R.B.R. (British Rail Board Residual), which I thought ended up -inappropriately- with Highways England?
Yes, anything that left over after the establishment of Railtrack and all the other various bodies at the time of privatisation was vested in BRB (Residuary) Limited, which was wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Transport. This was abolished in 2013 and its remaining properties and assets that had no relevance to the operational railway and no reasonable development potential were parcelled up as the Historical Railways Estate, which is administered by Highways England throughout Great Britain for and on behalf of the Department for Transport.
 

Taunton

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Although the residual rail assets were assigned to Highways England, that is only a top-level pigeonhole in the DfT structure. The existing staff continued with the existing functions, from their existing office in York, under the new name.
 

DerekC

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Although the residual rail assets were assigned to Highways England, that is only a top-level pigeonhole in the DfT structure. The existing staff continued with the existing functions, from their existing office in York, under the new name.
Whilst I am sure the existing staff carried on, it doesn't mean that the reorganisation makes no difference. The budgets and business objectives (yes, DfT does have such things) will be set from within Highways England (HE), which is an arms-length company, not just a pigeon hole. You may take a cynical view of that, but it does make a difference. The management of the Historical Railways Estate (HRE) is carried out by HE under a protocol, in other words it is a tacked-on function not core to HE's main objectives. The protocol is available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.g...ework-document-annex-c-protocol-agreement.pdf

The service to be provided is:

To seek to reduce the liabilities for the Secretary of State in terms of individual structure safety.  To seek to maximise the level of rental income, manage tenancies appropriately, recover possession of properties and seek to minimise holding costs, consistent with the objective of keeping the properties safe, legally compliant and secure.  To actively cooperate with the Department in their endeavours to transfer the Heritage Estate (in whole or in part) to local authorities and other third parties. In doing this Highways England will produce and maintain a plan of engagement, targeting those with high numbers of structures or large liabilities. Highways England will support the Department in its administration of any transfers of the HRE to third parties.  To seek to identify opportunities for the disposal of land and property assets, obtaining market value.  To undertake an annual programme of inspections of the railway structures.  Depending on the inspections outcomes, to establish appropriate maintenance programme based on safety, priority ranking and affordability.  Where Highways England seeks any professional advice in relation to the HRE it shall ensure that any such adviser is made aware that it owes a duty of care to the client in relation to professional advice provided by it to Highways England.  To undertake Engineer's site audit and site safety audits for all major works schemes.  To manage and inspect land and property to ensure they remain secure, not illegally occupied and not a danger to the public.  To continually review the land and property portfolio to ensure regulation of occupation, and that the portfolio is safe and free of any potential hazards;  To manage existing and future residual liabilities for structures sold or transferred to non-statutory bodies, including the maintenance of these structures in the event the purchaser defaults.
It's notable that there is no mention whatever of considering the future use of railway structures, whether for restoring a railway or for heritage use or for public access (cycleways etc). So it's not surprising that HE doesn't take that into account.
 

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