Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England. The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.
This database includes indexed images of employment-related records from a number of historic railway companies in England, Scotland, and Wales.
What is included?
All of the railways included in this database were once private companies that later came under authority of the British Transport Commission with the 1947 Transport Act. The collection features selected records from the following companies:
- RAIL226: Great Central Railway Company
- RAIL264: Great Western Railway Company
- RAIL397: London and North Eastern Railway Company
- RAIL410: London and North Western Railway Company
- RAIL411: London and South Western Railway Company
- RAIL414: London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
- RAIL415: London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company (formerly the East Kent Railway)
- RAIL426: London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company
- RAIL463: Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company
- RAIL491: Midland Railway Company
- RAIL1156: Special Collections: Retired Railway Officers' Society
Approximately 50% of the books cover the Great Western Railway, while the books covering the London and North Western Railway are more dense with records. Most records are prior to 1949, though some date later.
What can I find?
The most common record type in the database is a staff register. Others include station transfers, pension and accident records (which can include death date), apprentice records (which can include father's name), caution books, and memos.
Records will typically list an employee’s name, station, position, birth date or age, and various other details, such as salary, date entered service, and transfer information. For example, caution books list offenses employees were written up for and include name, date, grade, station, years of service, and date of suspension if applicable. Salary and wage registers list name, name of person recommending an employee for a position, date of appointment, salary or wage, dates of pay raises or decreases, age at the time the employee joined the railways, promotions, and remarks, which can mention transfers to different stations.
Records can be searched by name, birth year, event year, station, or company. Or they can be browsed by volume. In the browse, unless otherwise identified, the books are staff registers.
What is missing?
There are 58 pieces excluded from this collection for privacy reasons.
- RAIL 264 Great Western Railway Company: Staff Records
- Pieces 412, 413, 440, 442, 443, 471-522
- RAIL 397 London and North Eastern Railway Company: Staff Records
- Piece 13