THE MIDLAND RAILWAY
STUDY CENTRE

MR Crest

RAIL491 - Midland Railway Documents at the National Archives

To assist researchers whose ancestor may have worked for the Midland Railway Company, here is extract from the National Archives' Catalogue of the Company's Staff Records. For more details, visit their web site.

Glynn Waite has written a paper which guides researchers around the many & varied potential pitfalls which exist within the National Archives’ "RAIL491" series of Midland Railway staff records. Drawing on his vast experience, Glynn provides illustrated examples which explain the often mysterious shorthand that the Company’s clerks used, and lead the reader through the records. With particular emphasis on the Coaching Department, he gives a comprehensive overview of the scope of the records, and just as importantly, highlights the gaps which exist.

RAIL491 Class at the National Archives

RAIL 491/969

Goods Manager's office, St Pancras

[from c 1870]

RAIL 491/970

Goods Manager's Office, St Pancras and London outlying depots (wages)


RAIL 491/971

St Pancras, carting, stable, and market staff


RAIL 491/972

St Pancras, carting, stable, and market staff


RAIL 491/973

Carting depots, Castle and Falcon, and Borough receiving offices


RAIL 491/974

Somers Town


RAIL 491/975

Somers Town


RAIL 491/976

Whitecross Street, Victoria docks, Poplar and Bow


RAIL 491/977

London carting depots


RAIL 491/978

London commercial wages staff


RAIL 491/979

London outlying depots


RAIL 491/980

London district, medium and small stations


RAIL 491/981

Victoria docks and Poplar


RAIL 491/982

Whitecross Street


RAIL 491/983

City depot


RAIL 491/984

Goods Manager's office, Bow


RAIL 491/985

Goods Manager's office, Liverpool Victoria


RAIL 491/986

Wages staff fine book, District Commercial Manager's Office, Derby

1897 - 1916

RAIL 491/987

Clerical staff fine book, District Commercial Manager's Office, Derby

1896 - 1921

RAIL 491/988

Telegraph dept., personal staff

1873 - 1884

RAIL 491/989

Telegraph dept., personal staff

1884 - 1896

RAIL 491/990

Telegraph dept., personal staff

1887 - 1911

RAIL 491/991

Telegraph dept., station staff

1877 - 1898

RAIL 491/992

Telegraph dept., station staff

1899 - 1911

RAIL 491/993

Telegraph dept., traffic branch

1906 - 1911

RAIL 491/994

Superintendent's dept.

1899 - 1907

RAIL 491/995

District Superintendent's personal staff

1901 - 1908

RAIL 491/996

District Superintendent's personal staff

1901 - 1909

RAIL 491/997

Birmingham New Street joint station

1897 - 1911

RAIL 491/998

Bristol joint station

1878 - 1911

RAIL 491/999

Burton

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1000

Cudworth, Sheepbridge, Eckington, Clay Cross, Ambergate, and Rowsley

1880 - 1908

RAIL 491/1001

Derby

1876 - 1907

RAIL 491/1002

Gloucester, Bath and Bristol

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1003

Kettering, Northampton, Luton, St. Albans [includes Hendon and Cricklewood from c.1898]

1880 - 1908

RAIL 491/1004

Leeds

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1005

Leicester

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1006

Masborough, Staveley and Chesterfield

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1007

Nottingham and Beeston

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1008

St. Pancras

1876 - 1899

RAIL 491/1009

St. Pancras

1899 - 1908

RAIL 491/1010

Saltley and Birmingham

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1011

Sheffield

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1012

Skipton, Keighley, Shipley and Hellifield

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1013

Toton

1876 - 1908

RAIL 491/1014

Trent, Lincoln, Mansfield and Westhouses

1876 - 1908

There are some other locations where the information was entered in separate books from 1880 onwards, but which no longer appear to exists. Locations that are missing (that we know of) are: Buxton, Millers Dale, Melton, Stamford, Peterborough, and Kentish Town.

RAIL 491/1015

New appointments

1871 - 1877

RAIL 491/1016

New appointments

1877 - 1882

RAIL 491/1017

New appointments

1882 - 1890

RAIL 491/1018

New appointments

1890 - 1897

RAIL 491/1019

New appointments

1897 - 1900

RAIL 491/1020

New appointments Derby district

1902 - 1913

RAIL 491/1021

Additional appointments

1906 - 1930

RAIL 491/1022

Goods guards

1880 - 1898

RAIL 491/1023

Goods guards

1898 - 1908

RAIL 491/1024

Coaching department

1871 - 1880

RAIL 491/1025

Coaching department

1881 - 1898

RAIL 491/1026

Coaching department

1899 - 1908

RAIL 491/1027

Coaching department

1899 - 1908

RAIL 491/1028

Marshalling staff

1902 - 1908

RAIL 491/1029

Mineral office

1860 - 1875

RAIL 491/1030

Mineral office

1875 - 1895

RAIL 491/1031

Mineral office

1895 - 1921

RAIL 491/1032

Staff register

1868 - 1873

RAIL 491/1033

Staff register [primarily concerns rate increases; in sections by first letter of surname]

1899 - 1902

RAIL 491/1034

Joint staff lists - includes dates of opening of joint lines and stations

1870 - 1876

RAIL 491/1035

Joint staff lists - includes dates of opening of joint lines and stations

1876 - 1892

RAIL 491/1036

Joint staff lists - includes dates of opening of joint lines and stations

1893 - 1906

RAIL 491/1037

Joint staff lists

1906 - 1920

RAIL 491/1038

Burton & Ashby Light Rly.

1906 - 1920

Subsubseries within RAIL 491

Pieces without a sub-sub-series parent

RAIL 491/1039

Staff list

Oct 1859 - 1866

RAIL 491/1040

RAIL 491/1041

Pedigree Lists


From Peter Witts: These take the form of a very long list of employees in semi-alphabetical order (e.g. all the names beginning “Ha-” are together but not alphabetically within that group). The two books do not seem to have the same sequence of numbering, as it appears that the more recent of the two begins again at ‘1’.Very little information is given. Entries take the form of:-

NAME: followed by Pedigree Number. There is a column for other remarks,though in 90% of cases this is blank.

Any remarks usually take the form of a place-name (presumably the place where the individual was employed) and/or a reason for leaving (e.g. deceased, resigned etc). I imagine the “Pedigree Numbers” were at one time cross-referenced to actual employee files with much more information in them. Since these particular documents do not even carry any dates (not even an overall date range for the book as a whole) – or places in most cases – it is almost impossible to know whether the individual listed is really the person of interest. I suppose though that for someone with an extremely unusual name they would at least give an indication whether that person had in fact worked for the Midland!

RAIL 491/1058

Register of accidents to Company's servants and others not in Company's service

1875 - 1888

RAIL 491/1059

Register of accidents to Company's servants and others not in Company's service No.2

1888 - 1895

RAIL 491/1060

Register of accidents to Company's servants and others not in Company's service No.3

1895 - 1901

RAIL 491/1061

Register of accidents to Company's servants and others not in Company's service No.4

1901 - 1906

RAIL 491/1062

Register of accidents to Company's servants and others not in Company's service No.6

1914 - 1921

RAIL 491/1064

Alterations Book

Appears to cover all staff changes at Millhouses Shed from its opening to early BR days

1901 - 1949

RAIL 491/1067

Locomotive Department: foremen, clerks, timekeepers, etc

This refers to the Works at Derby

1864 - 1873

RAIL 491/1068

Locomotive dept.

This covers most of the Company but is limited to managerial, clerical and support grades - in other words, no footplate staff.

1872 - 1892

RAIL 491/1069

Locomotive Department: supervisors, clerks, pupils, draughtsmen, photographers, stewards, cooks, messengers, etc.

1892 - 1909

RAIL 491/1070

Locomotive Department: salary book

1897 - 1907

RAIL 491/1071

Locomotive Department: salary book

1907 - 1922

RAIL 491/1072

Bromsgrove wagon works

[c 18901] - 1931

RAIL 491/1073

Sheffield station

[c 1833 - 1888]

RAIL 491/1074

Sheffield station

[c 1888 - 1898]

RAIL 491/1075

Sheffield goods station and depots

[c 1901 - 1924]

RAIL 491/1076

Staff on salary listTraffic / Coaching Department – mainly station staff / Control Offices

Aug1914

From Peter Witts: This is an extremely useful document with what appears to be a comprehensive list of all salaried staff as of 7th August 1914. It is easy to read as it is in typescript, well laid-out, as opposed to the usual handwritten records which are often less easy to decipher. It appears to be set out in “station order” (ending with St.Pancras, of course). Thus, one would need some idea of the name of the place where the individual was employed, otherwise it would be a long trawl.

Information is in the form:-

NAME OF STATION; followed by NAME, POSITION, SALARY

RAIL 491/1077

Henry Vardy's annual leave entitlement with conditions of necessary engine maintenance

1908

RAIL 491/1078

Special half-yearly agreements and account of voyages, lists of crew of ships of the Company

1904 - 1913

RAIL 491/1079

Regulations and rates of pay for privileged apprentices at locomotive works

1919

RAIL 491/1080

Loco Dept. staff book, Manchester district (alphabetical)

Footplate staff at Belle Vue and sub-sheds

[ - 1916]

RAIL 491/1081

Staff record of Geo. Simmons (donated by Mr Norman Simmons of San Francisco, Calif.)

1874 - 1919