Erie Extra Board FAQ


Questions and Answers About This Site
Is this an official railroad site? No, the Erie Railroad no longer exists, having merged in 1960 with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western to form the Erie-Lackawanna. This site was created and is maintained by a fan of the Erie.
Do you have access to official railroad personnel files? Not many, and to my knowledge those files for the Erie do not exist in a comprehensive collection, although some do exist in archives or private collections. Employee Files from Chicago-Huntington, IN (@1900), Port Jervis, NY (@1910-1940), Avoca, PA-Wyoming Division (@1910-1950) and Marion-Kent-Dayton, OH (@1900-1940) are indexed on this site and records are available from the archives that hold them. I hold several hundred records from Susquehanna yard and work on getting those records online is progressing. The majority of information presented here, though, has been gathered from other sources, chiefly the Erie Railroad Employee Magazine and railroad personnel rosters.
What other sources of information are included? Transcriptions from various Federal Censuses, private advertising rosters, ICC Railroad Accident data, company phone directories, newspaper obituaries, etc.
Are Delaware, Lackawanna & Western employees included on your site? No, although some ex-DL&W employees may have made it in to the indexes from the 1961-1962 issues of Erie-Lackawanna Magazine (predecessor roads were not always clearly marked). For persons researching the Lackawanna, the National Park Service's Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA is in the process of building an extensive database of DL&W employees, based on its archival collection of over 400 boxes of DL&W, Erie and EL papers. Steamtown's Historian/Archivist estimates that they will have a listing of around 30,000 employees when finished, with each listing based on personnel folders or other documents in the collection. The employee listing is a work in process, and is dependent on the availability of volunteers: that said, people researching D&LW employees are encouraged to email their queries to the Archivist at Steamtown.
What is the oldest information currently available on the site? The oldest collection of information currently listed is the Chicago & Erie personnel record summaries which date back to the early 1880s. These are closely followed by the1899 locomotive engineer listing, which includes employees who were active from the start of the Erie through the 1930s. Other employees active in the earliest days may be listed in the master index if they were mentioned in Erie Magazine.
I'm looking for one name. Where do I start? Unfortunately, you will need to slog through the various index tables. Start with the Erie Magazine Last Name Index. This is as close to a master index of Erie Magazine as exists, and contains the names and positions of thousands of employees. It also contains a listing of photographs if they were published in the magazine. If you find someone whose photo was published and there is no hotlink in the master index, check the separate On-Line Photo index to see if the image has been posted. Eventually, those photos will be linked to the master index.

If you have a location where the person you are researching lived, check the location or Division-specific rosters.

If you are researching an engineer who worked between the 1860s and the 1930s, check the 1899 Engineer Listing.
Which issues of Erie Railroad Magazine are included in the comprehensive index? All 668 issues, from March, 1905 to October, 1960 have been indexed.
What criteria were used in developing the Erie Railroad Magazine comprehensive index? Generally, mentions of employees that included name, city or division, and occupation were included. Some exceptions to that rule were where a major life experience (birth, death, marriage) was listed. Trivial mentions have mostly been omitted.
I can't find someone who I know worked for the Erie. Please don't be offended, but this is a work in progress. There is a tremendous amount of information that still needs to be sorted through, and this is a one-man operation.
I found the person I was searching for - how do I get more information? I try to put everything I have on-line for ease of use. However, that does not extend to material taken from the Erie Magazine, due to the large amount of information contained therein. If you find a reference in the Erie Magazine index, send me an email and I will be happy to pull the magazine issue (if it is in my collection) and scan or summarize the information for you. If it isn't in my collection, I'll try to refer you to a likely source. (When writing, please put "Erie Railroad" in your email message topic to facilitate your message getting to me).

If the person you have found retired after 1936, they were likely part of the Railroad Retirement system, and the Railroad Retirement Board may have additional information on their career.
I would like to buy an issue of Erie with my ancestor's photo is in. How do I go about that? If you are looking for an actual issue of Erie and not just a scan or photocopy, your best bet is an online auction site such as E-Bay. I've purchased issues online before, and the availability is very spotty, but you might luck out. What will you pay? On some items the sky's the limit, especially if you get into a bidding war. However, if I was buying online or from a private offer, given what I know, I'd look for prices in the following approximate range: 1905-1919 issues, $12-15 each; 1920s, $10-$12; 1930s, $6-$10; 1940s, $4-$6; 1950s, $2-$4. These estimates are for good condition paper, few tears, creases and no water or other damage. Issues in much worse or much better condition could stray outside of my limits. Vendors selling 1940s or 1950s editions for $20 or more each "don't know the territory!" Don't encourage them!
Do you have a site-wide index? No, my host, Rootsweb/, does not permit on-site search engines. Many of the individual pages, however, have been written to facilitate web indexing - try using your favorite Internet search engine to search for a name first.
Do you benefit from the advertising on the site? NO, it's a trade-off for the free web space for this site.
How often is the site updated? Updates are ongoing, so check back every now and then. The date of the most recent major update is displayed toward the top of the home page.
This site looks so ... last century! Ah, So true. I have hopes to update things someday, although I am somewhat limited as to 'bells and whistles' by my host.

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