Railway Employee Records - Sample Image

Locating Railroad Employee Records

Great American Railways

According to Randy Houk's "Railroad Timeline", the first American rails are said to have been laid down at Quincy, Mass. in 1826. Since then, numerous railway companies have come and gone, with many mergers occurring along the way.

Grownups and kids alike have had a certain fascination with the railroads, and genealogists have a similar desire to know if any of their ancestors played a role in the development of the American railways. Tracking down employment records from the railroad companies can be a serious challenge.

One of the best resources is the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. They administer a Federal retirement benefit program covering the nation's railroad workers. However, only those who were employed for over ten years and were employed at the time the Railroad Retirement Board was created (1935) will be found in the Board's records.

In her article, "Railroad Records", Rhonda McClure states, "If you know that your ancestor worked for a railway, but they weren't [included in the Retirement Board's records], then you will need to turn your attention to the actual railroad companies."

We've compiled the following list of railroad employee record repositories, which include records that have been acquired by Genealogy Today (highlighted below) and made available on our web site.

Railroad Employee Records

Related Organizations

Employee Magazines Online

Additional Resources

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