Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Federal Railroad Administration


(Record Group 399)
1910-64

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 399.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 399.2 RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF SAFETY AND SERVICE, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION 1910-84

399.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: In the Department of Transportation (DOT), by the Department of Transportation Act (80 Stat. 931), October 15, 1966. Became operational April 1, 1967.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • Alaska Engineering Commission (1914-15)
  • Alaska Engineering Commission, Department of the Interior (1915- 23)
  • The Alaska Railroad, Department of the Interior (1923-67)
  • Office of High-Speed Ground Transportation, Department of Commerce (1965-67)
In the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC):
  • Office of the Secretary (1893-1911)
  • Division of Safety Appliances (1911-14)
  • Division of Safety (1914-17)
  • Bureau of Safety (1917-54, to Bureau of Safety and Service)
  • Division of Locomotive Boiler Inspection (1911-15)
  • Division of Locomotive Inspection (1915-17)
  • Bureau of Locomotive Inspection (1917-54, to Bureau of Safety and Service)
  • Division of Car Service (1917)
  • Bureau of Car Service (1917-20)
  • Bureau of Service (1920-54, to Bureau of Safety and Service)
  • Bureau of Safety and Service (1954-65)
  • Bureau of Railroad Safety and Service (1965-67)
  • Section of Explosives, Bureau of Service (1925-34)
  • Explosives and Dangerous Articles Branch, Section of Railroad Safety, Bureau of Safety and Service (1954-65)
  • Section of Explosives and Dangerous Articles, Bureau of Operations and Compliance (1965-67)
Functions: Issues and enforces railroad safety regulations. Administers railroad financial assistance programs. Conducts research in support of a national rail transportation policy.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Federal Railroad Administration in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government. Records of the U.S. Railroad Administration, RG 14.
General Records of the Department of Commerce, RG 40. Records of the Interstate Commerce Commission, RG 134.
Records of the Railroad Retirement Board, RG 184.
Records of the Commissioner of Railroads, RG 193.
Records of The Alaska Railroad, RG 322.
General Records of the Department of Transportation, RG 398. Records of the U.S. Railway Association, RG 464.

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399.2 RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF SAFETY AND SERVICE, INTERSTATE
COMMERCE COMMISSION
1910-64

History: Office of the Secretary, Interstate Commerce Commission, assumed responsibility for issuing and enforcing safety regulations for specified types of railroad equipment, pursuant to the Safety Appliance Act of 1893 (27 Stat. 531), March 2, 1893. Function transferred to newly established Division of Safety Appliances, July 1, 1911. Absorbed functions of other ICC divisions concerned with accidents and hours of service, and redesignated Division of Safety, 1914. Redesignated Bureau of Safety, October 17, 1917.

Division of Locomotive Boiler Inspection established July 1, 1911, to administer provisions of an act of February 17, 1911 (36 Stat. 913), requiring inspection of locomotive boilers. Redesignated Division of Locomotive Inspection pursuant to an act of March 4, 1915 (38 Stat. 1192), expanding inspection function to include entire locomotive engine and tender. Redesignated Bureau of Locomotive Inspection, October 17, 1917.

Division of Car Service established in ICC, July 9, 1917, pursuant to the Esch Car Service Act (40 Stat. 101), May 29, 1917, to issue and enforce regulations on the movement, distribution, exchange, and return of railroad cars used in the transport of property. Redesignated Bureau of Car Service, October 17, 1917. Redesignated Bureau of Service, April 1920, with responsibilities expanded by the Transportation Act, 1920 (41 Stat. 476), February 28, 1920, to include issuing national emergency regulations.

Bureaus of Safety, Locomotive Inspection, and Service consolidated to form Bureau of Safety and Service, June 1, 1954. Redesignated Bureau of Railroad Safety and Service (BRSS) in an ICC reorganization, 1965, which transferred enforcement functions and Explosives and Dangerous Articles Branch, Section of Railroad Safety, to new Bureau of Operations and Compliance. BRSS abolished, with safety activities transferred to DOT and assigned, along with The Alaska Railroad (SEE RG 322) and the Office of High-Speed Ground Transportation (SEE RG 398), to newly established Federal Railroad Administration, 1967, with safety activities assumed by newly established Bureau of Railroad Safety. SEE 399.1.

Section of Explosives established in Bureau of Service, April 1, 1925. Redesignated Explosives and Dangerous Articles Branch, Section of Railroad Safety, Bureau of Safety and Service, 1954. Transferred to Bureau of Operations and Compliance, as Section of Explosives and Dangerous Articles, 1965. Transferred to DOT and incorporated into Bureau of Railroad Safety, Federal Railroad Administration, 1967. SEE 399.1.

Textual Records: Records relating to the preparation and revision of railroad safety regulations, 1910-55. Numbered collision investigation reports of the Section of Railroad Safety, 1958-64. 399.3 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION 1947-84 (bulk 1969-84)

399.3.1 Records of the Office of the Administrator

Textual Records: Reports relating to the Emergency Rail Services Act of 1970 and Emergency Rail Facilities Restoration Act of 1973, 1971-77.1 Records relating to meetings of the board of directors, United States Railway Association, 1975-84. 2

399.3.2 Records of the Office of the Associate Administrator for Research and Development

Textual Records: Subject files, 1975-84. Technical reports, 1971-83.3 Records relating to the Dual-Mode Locomotive project, 1982, including video recordings.4 Records relating to international and bilateral agreements, 1978-79.5 Records relating to improved passenger safety demonstration projects, 1982.6

399.3.3 Records of the Office of the Associate Administrator for Safety

Textual Records: Published accident reports, 1947-60. Accident investigation report files, 1970-84 (112 ft.). Railroad accident investigation jackets, 1969-70.7

399.3.4 Records of the Transportation Test Center (TTC)

Textual Records: Records relating to the transfer of the TTC to the private sector, 1982. Records relating to TTC projects, 1982, including facility engineering drawings; facility highway drawings; "RDL" and "RDL" drawings; and "VTU" global plant system, on microfilm (89 rolls).8


1 Derived from NN95-0015, 12/15/94, 1 ft.
2 Derived from NN95-0019, 12/15/94, 34 ft.
3 Derived from NN95-0016, 12/15/94, 21 ft
4 Derived from NN95-0013, 12/15/94, 37 ft total.
5 Derived from NN95-0014, 12/15/94, 7 ft
6 Derived from NN95-0018, 12/15/94, 14 ft
7 Derived from NN95-0017, 12/15/94, 112 ft total.
8 Derived from NN95-0013, 12/15/94, 3ft


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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