Genealogy / Former Railroad Employee Information and Sources
We have received numerous requests as to where to find information on former Nickel Plate employees. Unfortunately, when the Norfolk & Western Railway took over the Nickel Plate Road in October of 1964, they moved all records to Roanoke, VA, or destroyed them on site to help bury the Nickel Plate name. Many records, if not most, including those of former employees, were destroyed. Some of our historical society members personally saved a few records that were scheduled to be destroyed just before they were loaded into a garbage truck or incinerator, but rarely have individual employee records turned up.
However, the Railroad Retirement Board is a Federal agency and the pensions paid by employees are literally "Federal" pensions. No railroad, especially the Norfolk and Western, could simply dispose of personnel records that would have anything to do with railroad retirement benefits. All during the course of an employee's career, they paid a portion of their pay to the RRB and it was administered by the employing railroad.
The Railroad Retirement Board provides a genealogical search service and links to other sources that may turn up information on previous employees of any railroad. Click here to view their specific web page that deals with this type of search.
In addition, George G. Morgan has written some excellent articles about Social Security and Railroad Retirement and Railroad Genealogical information. His articles can be found at Ancestry.com through the following links. Please click on: