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Guide to Railroad Records at the National Archives
Table of Contents

The R&LHS here presents, as a service to the railroad history community, National Archives Reference Information Paper ("RIP") No. 91, a comprehensive survey of the holdings of the National Archives of railroad-related material. This document was compiled by David Pfeiffer, archivist and transportation records specialist at "National Archives II", the new (1995) facility of the agency located in College Park, MD. For general information about the National Archives, including this facility, go to the National Archives Website.

Below on this page are the cover page, table of contents and preface to the RIP91 paper. The remainder of the paper is organized into a number of separate files, each accessible by a link from the table of contents below, and also chained together by a succession of links to facilitate browsing through the entire document sequentially. This approach was taken to minimize the access time to any given part of the document. It has the disadvantage that the entire document cannot be searched in one operation. There is an Index at the end of the document which identifies the section of the document in which each entry is found, and the index may be used in that manner, by looking up the part number and section, then going directly to that part from this main page.

Part III is divided into four separate files because of its size. Direct links are provided to those record groups which are the most frequently used.

To receive a free copy of Records Relating to North American Railroads: Reference Information Paper 91, please write to the National Archives and Records Administration, Archives I Research Support Branch (NWCC1), Room 406, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001 or call 202-501-5235 or toll free 866-325-7208. Requests may also be faxed to 202-501-7170.




Records Relating to North American Railroads

Compiled by David Pfeiffer

Reference Information Paper 91

National Archives and Records Administration

Washington, DC

2001

Weehawken

Cover: View looking across New York Central Railroad yards, Weehawken, NJ towards midtown Manhattan, 1947 (49- 6840). Copyright by the University of Louisville Library

___________________________________________________________________


Table of Contents

Preface

Part I
Introduction

Description of Records
Related Finding Aids
Sources of Additional Information
Washington, DC, Area
Regional Archives
The Role of the Federal Government in the History of Railroads in the United States--A Historical Overview
Acknowledgments

Part II
Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find documentation concerning the corporate and financial history of individual railroads?

Are there track plans and other documentatione useful for model railroaders?

Are there drawings, plans, construction details, and/or photographs concerning the construction of railroad-owned structures, such as railroad depots and stations?

Is there documentation available which gives information concerning how railroads acquired the land adjacent to or on their right-of-way?

Is there genealogical information available in the National Archives concerning railroad employees?

Are there reports concerning railroad accident investigations in the custody of the National Archives?

What documentation is available from the records of Federal Government agencies concerning the transcontinental railroad?

What documentation exists concerning the U.S. Government control and/or supervision of the railroads during World War I and World War II?

What Federal records exist for the U.S. military railroads during the Civil War?

Does the National Archives have custody of any records relating to the Freedom Train?

Are there any Federal records concerning personal injury claims or property ownership disputes against railroads?

Part III
Federal Regulation and Oversight of Railroads


Part IIIA III.1 - III.47
Record Group 14 Records of the U.S. Railroad Administration
Record Group 30 Records of the Bureau of Public Roads
Record Group 40 General Records of the Department of Commerce
Record Group 133 Records of the Federal Coordinator of Transportation

Part IIIB III.48 - III.89
Record Group 134 Records of the Interstate Commerce Commission

Part IIIC III.90 - III.140
Record Group 137 Records of the Federal Supply Service
Record Group 151 Records of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
Record Group 179 Records of the War Production Board
Record Group 187 Records of the National Resources Planning Board
Record Group 193 Records of the Commissioner of Railroads
         Records of the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads
         Reports of Railroads
         Records of the Pacific Railway Commission

Part IIID III.141 - III.189
Record Group 219 Records of the Office of Defense Transportation
Record Group 234 Records of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Record Group 253 Records of the Petroleum Administration for War
Record Group 398 General Records of the Department of Transportation
         Records of the Office of the Secretary
         Records of the Office of the Executive Secretariat
         Other Records
         Nontextual Records
Record Group 399 Records of the Federal Railroad Administration
         General Records
         Records of the Office of Safety
         Records of the Office of Research and Development
         Nontextual Records
Record Group 408 Records of the Federal Transit Administration
Record Group 464 Records of the U.S. Railway Association

Part IV
Railroads and the Military

Record Group 77 Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers
Record Group 92 Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General
Record Group 109 War Department Collection of Confederate Records
Record Group 112 Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army)
Record Group 160 Records of Headquarters, Army Service Forces (ASF)
Record Group 165 Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs
Record Group 336 Records of the Office of the Chief of Transportation
Record Group 373 Records of the Defense Intelligence Agency
Record Group 393 Records of the United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920
Record Group 407 Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-

Part V
Railroads and Labor Relations

Record Group 1 Records of the War Labor Policies Board
Record Group 13 Records of the National Mediation Board
         Records of Predecessor Agencies
         Records of the National Mediation Board
Record Group 184 Records of the Railroad Retirement Board

Part VI
Land Management and the Railroads

Record Group 48 Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior
Record Group 49 Records of the Bureau of Land Management
Record Group 57 Records of the Geological Survey
Record Group 75 Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Record Group 126 Records of the Office of Territories
Record Group 145 Records of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service
Record Group 322 Records of the Alaska Railroad

Part VII
Railroads and the Judicial System

Record Group 21 Records of the District Courts of the United States
Record Group 60 General Records of the Department of Justice
Record Group 123 Records of the United States Court of Claims
Record Group 172 Records of the United States Commerce Court
Record Group 267 Records of the Supreme Court of the United States

Part VIII
Financial Agencies and the Railroads

Record Group 39 Records of the Bureau of Accounts (Treasury)
Record Group 50 Records of the Treasurer of the United States
Record Group 51 Records of the Office of Management and Budget
Record Group 53 Records of the Bureau of Public Debt
Record Group 56 General Records of the Department of the Treasury
Record Group 217 Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury
Record Group 266 Records of the Securities and Exchange Commission

Part IX
Congress and the Railroads

Record Group 46 Records of the U.S. Senate
         Records of the Senate Committee on the Pacific Railroad (1863-73)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Railroads (1873-1921)
         Records of the Senate Select and Standing Committees on Pacific Railroads (1889-1921)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce (1887-1946)
         Records of the Senate Committees on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (1947-61) and Commerce (1961-68)
         Records of the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia (1816-1968)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Public Lands (1816-1946)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor (1870-1946)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (1947-68)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads (1816-1947)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Service (1947-68)
         Records of the Senate Committee on Roads and Canals (1820-57)
         Records of Senate Select Committees (1847-1921)
Record Group 233 Records of the U.S. House of Representatives
         Records of the House Committee on Commerce, 1819-92
         Records of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (1892-1968)
         Records of the House District of Columbia Committee
         Records of the House Committee on Public Lands (1805-1951)
         Records of the House Committee on Pacific Railroads (1865-1911)
         Records of the House Committee on Territories (1825-1946)
         Records of the House Committee on Railways and Canals (1869-1927)
         Other Records

Part X
Railroads and Foreign Policy

Record Group 59 General Records of the Department of State
         Central Files of the Department of State, 1789-1973
         Other Records
Record Group 76 Records of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations
Record Group 84 Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State
Record Group 229 Records of the Office of Inter-American Affairs

Part XI
Other Records

Record Group 28 Records of the Post Office Department
Record Group 185 Records of the Panama Canal
Record Group 220 Records of Presidential Committees, Commissions, and Boards
Record Group 241 Records of the Patent and Trademark Office
National Archives Collection of Donated Materials
         Records of the American Heritage Foundation, 1947-68
         Records of the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross, 1881-1982
Nontextual Records

Appendix A: Record Groups Not Included in This Reference Information Paper

Appendix B: Interstate Commerce Commission, Bureau of Valuation--Valuation Docket Index (Railroads) 1914-1928

Index

Preface

This reference information paper is the latest in a series that was begun by the National Archives six decades ago. The papers are part of a comprehensive descriptive program and are designed to provide researchers with concise information about Federal archival records relating to specific topics of current interest. The format and style of the papers have varied over the years, but they generally consist of an introduction that places the topic in the context of Federal record keeping, followed by sections that describe and discuss specific pertinent records.
Topics addressed in other recent reference information papers include:
Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II: The American Soldier Surveys (RIP 78), American Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees (RIP 80), American Military Casualties and Burials (RIP 82), and Military Awards and Decorations (RIP 92); World War II Records in the Cartographic and Architectural Branch of the National Archives (RIP 79); Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing-in-Action Personnel from the Korean War and During the Cold War Era (RIP 102); Records of Military Agencies Relating to African Americans from the Post-World War I Period to the Korean War (RIP 105); Records Relating to American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam War Era, 1960-1994 (RIP 90); and Records Relating to the Early Involvement of the U.S. Government in Data Processing, 1880's to 1950's (RIP 76). The descriptive program of the National Archives addresses topics of broader interest with a series of subject guides to its holdings. The most recent of these is American Women and the U.S. Armed Forces: A Guide to the Records of Military Agencies in the National Archives Relating to American Women (1992); A Guide to Pre-Federal Records in the National Archives (1989); Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives (1984); Documenting Alaskan History: A Guide to Federal Archives in Alaska (1982); Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians (1981); Guide to Records Relating to U.S. Military Participation in World War II, Part I: Policy, Planning, Administration (1996); and The Trans-Mississippi West, 1804-1912: A Guide to Federal Records for the Territorial Period (1993- ). The best overall source of information about Federal archives is the comprehensive Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States (1996). The text of this guide is available electronically on NARA's Web site at http://www.nara.gov. Our reference information papers and subject guides demonstrate that Federal records provide researchers with valuable information on a range of topics far broader than the history of the Federal Government. We are pleased to be able to make this rich resource available to researchers.
John W. Carlin
Archivist of the United States



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