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The C&NWHS has one of the larger collections of technical and historical material in the USA… least in the realm of non-profit, railroad historical societies. For this reason it is difficult to outline all of the materials that we have. While C&NW material dominates the collection, all predecessor roads are included to some extent, depending on the number of years that have passed since their demise.

The collection is maintained by Society dues and donations and is staffed by volunteers. An incomplete summary of materials is provided here, as a general overview:

  • Photographs (limited, but satisfactory collection)(Many additional photos are owned by the Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs and may not be available.)
  • Maps (a very large collection)
  • AFE’s (These Authority for Expenditures are mostly in storage, but contain all the improvements and retirements from about 1918 to 1982.)
  • Genealogy Records (limited)
  • Diesel drawings, rosters and records (especially first generation)
  • Freight car drawings and information for selected individual cars, plus much miscellaneous (mostly from about 1935 to the 1995 merger)
  • Depot drawings and information (selected depots only) (a CD set on the Chicago Passenger Terminal drawings)
  • Archives books for sale, such as C&NW Standards sheets (mostly from the steam era) See the Company Store on this site for other publications.
  • Steam engine information (very limited, but containing full rosters for “modern” steam)
  • Ledgers, journals and other books of interest (old)
  • ICC-required Valuation information (Much of this is missing, but the remaining material is very valuable.)(includes many Valuation maps)
  • Passenger timetables and employee timetables (a limited selection only)
  • Passenger car floor diagrams (Passenger car material is limited.)
  • Employee Magazines such as the Newsliner
  • North Western Lines magazines (our Society publication)
  • Sample copies of printed material issued by the C&NW, 1929 to 1962
  • Reference books
  • Annual Reports, especially C&NW
  • Land records, Land Grant references, and real estate records (a very limited collection, considering the extensive land ownership in the past)
  • Centennial Bibliography of the material published about the C&NW prior to 1948

Note: We do NOT have corporate records, accident reports and legal papers, excepting published bankruptcy records.

For questions, comments, or information please contact us using the form below.

Donations are always welcome and help defray our costly rents and copying costs.