Information for Genealogists

The Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society has an extensive collection of materials related to the history of the Santa Fe Railroad and it’s predecessors. These pertain to management, construction, structures and operations but do not include any personnel records.

To the best of our Knowledge, the majority of Santa Fe Railroad and Railway personnel records prior to the 1930’s no longer exist. During mergers and reorganizations such material was seen as of no further corporate use and was destroyed. In this era of litigation, the Santa Fe like most railroads, do not allow access to what personnel records that may have survived. Our historical society in consequence has none of this type of material.

We are working to make our site searchable. At which time if by a miracle a name you are interested in is mentioned in any material on our site you will be able to find the document that the name is in. This is a one and several billion chance as the only time individuals are mentioned is in certain oral histories and occasionally in Meades or the Splinters in connection with construction or disaster. Other wise we have no resources that would be of help in a genealogical search.

After 1936 the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board has kept records of railroad employees and for a fee will research their records for dead employees. See

From Ed Dabbler October 1999

I have offered these additional reference sources in my response to questions. These include Miss Ellen Halteman, Librarian, California State Railroad Museum, 111 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916.445.6645, and email “” and an article entitled “Railroad Records for Genealogical Research” by Wendy L. Elliott, published in Vol. 75, No. 4 (December 1987, pp. 271-277 of the Genealogical Society Quarterly. The address for the Genealogical Society is 4527 Seventeenth Street North, Arlington, VA 22207-2363