The Association is well aware of the increasing interest in this subject and has created a database of references to Cumbrian railway employees derived from a large number of sources including official railway documents, committee minutes, staff records, staff magazines, newspaper reports, local directories and many more. Railway accident reports, including those compiled for the Railway Work Life and Death Project (a joint initiative of the Universities of Portsmouth and Warwick and the National Railway Museum), have also provided information about railway workers. At present there are over 40,000 records in the database, but this is just a small fraction of the total number of men and women who have worked for the railways of Cumbria since their construction. If you have details of railway staff that we have not included, please let us know.
The database covers the period from the earliest days of the railways in Cumbria up to the 1920s. It is strongest in references from West Cumbria, but with few records from Carlisle, which at its peak probably provided employment for over 3000 railway workers. It includes lists of employees of the Maryport & Carlisle Railway for 1891 and 1909, and many records from the Cleator & Workington and LNWR & Furness Joint lines. The database includes transcripts of Furness Railway staff records for the Traffic Department up to 1900, for the Goods Department for the early 1900s and for the Headquarters staff for 1900 to 1923. It also includes a list of men from the Furness Railway who were recorded by the Company on a Roll of Honour to have signed up for service during the Great War of 1914-1918. Unfortunately there seem to be no surviving staff records for the Furness Railway Locomotive Department.
The CRA has published a Roll of Honour of the railwaymen of Cumbria who died in World War One with some information on each of the men who died. These are also included in the database. For details go to the publication page HERE.
Another source of information used in compiling the database was the Furness Railway Staff Magazine which was published from 1921 to 1923, and gives many details of staff activities, promotions, retirements, reminiscences and more. Copies may be purchased from the CRA on CD as a pdf searchable file. For details click HERE.
The records are listed alphabetically by surname and give brief details of the source of the information. Where the source is shown as RAIL (followed by a reference) the record has been transcribed by a CRA member from railway staff records held by the National Archives at Kew. Where the source is shown as FR Staff Register or FR Staff Index the information has been transcribed from a microfilm copy (held at Barrow Archives) of National Archives records. Please note that National Archives records are Crown Copyright but made available for private research.
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For more information and enquiries please email from HERE.
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