Volunteers are a critical part of our operation. It is the volunteers that work on our projects, that meet and greet our visitors, and that operate our trains. We have no paid staff.
We encourage new volunteers to come and find a place with us. Because of the variety of things we do, and the potential dangers of working around railroad equipment, we require that new volunteers only do work at the railroad when there are longer-term volunteers around, at least for the first couple of months, so that we can “show you the ropes”.
To volunteer, just show up! All ages, abilities, and interests are welcome.
For those volunteers interested in train crew service, we have an initial waiting period as well as a training program. We ask that new volunteers accumulate at least 150 hours over no less than 6 months, before formal train crew service begins. This helps everyone to get to know everyone else better, and gives time for the new volunteer to decide if the museum is a right fit for them.
Volunteers are always present on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Typically, work begins by 8am on Saturdays (9am on weekdays) while “closing time” is after 4 PM. (During the late autumn and early winter months, when it gets dark early, we leave early.) Activities are usually rain or shine, but may move indoors during inclement weather.
Our volunteer corps is like a family. Many meet for breakfast before the day begins or for supper after it ends. Others keep in touch with each other throughout the week.