|Guard, shunter and footplate crew, with locomotive, c.1900.|
The railway changed the social and industrial face of the nation, and for a century after 1850 railways were major employers. We can show you at Bo'ness what past railways were like. Although we can't show the gigantic scale of much railway infrastructure, we can show you the equipment used in the past, in installations large and small, throughout the land.
Railways provided secure employment and comparatively good working conditions that improved steadily through the 20th century.
|A group of NBR staff, Edinburgh, July 1896.|
We can't help you directly to find information on a particular railwayman, as our archives do not contain detailed staff records. Extensive records do survive, however, and we can tell you where to look. We have a Fact Sheet which gives suggestions for researching family history in Scotland. It is available, as a PDF or a Word document, from the following links.
|Railway genealogy Fact Sheet (pdf)|
|Railway genealogy Fact Sheet (MS Word)|
|To view .pdf documents you will need Acrobat Reader|
|Download it free|
If you want to find out more about railway history, you could start by consulting many books which can be borrowed from your local library. Books not held in the local library are usually available by inter-library loan. Most aspects of railway history have been written about. Some excellent general titles are:
The main archive collection relating to Scottish railways is at the National Archives of Scotland (contact details are given on the Fact Sheet). There are also extensive records at the National Railway Museum (Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ, telephone 08704 214001), and at the National Archives Office (Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, telephone +44 (0) 20 8876 3444). Before consulting any of these resources, it is essential to do as much research as possible beforehand, so that you know exactly what you are looking for.
Much new research has been carried out in recent years, and much remains to be done. Some institutions offer research grants or bursaries, and we may be able to put you in touch if your research subject links to our object collection.