WHAT: We are a volunteer organization. Many of our programs and much of our behind-the-scenes work is done by volunteers.
WHEN: Programs and projects are year-around. Some fly in for a week at a time, others drive in on weekends. Some volunteer work can be done remotely. Very flexible.
SKILLS: Wide variety of work to do: train operations, machine shop, publicity and creative, restoration.
Due to the Corona virus we will be closed to the public through April 30th.
We will continue working in our shops, including returning Locomotive 81 to service. Many of the restoration expenses will continue, so your memberships and donations are all the more important during these times.
It will probably be easy to find areas where you can help.
Volunteers come from all over the country. Many local residents of While Pine County help the railroad in countless ways. Other volunteers drive, some over 1000 miles, for a long weekend of work and fun on the railroad. A few fly in from across the country to be here and participate in our operations several times each year. Volunteer crew members who come from afar can stay overnight for free in the bunkhouse. For those who can not travel here as often, there are also ways to help from your home.
We are most often asked about train crew operations. Yes, you can start as a volunteer apprentice brakeman and end up as a full-fledged steam locomotive engineer. That is exactly how all of our volunteer engineers got to be where they are today. The museum has a training program that will mesh your desires with the museums needs. The starting point of this program is for you to communicate your goals in writing to us indicating what program you want to join.
The programs are as follows:
The common thread thought all of these programs is you must be a member of the museum, pass a DOT physical, be able to devote the time, pass written and practical proficiency tests to graduate from the program. The steam program will take a volunteer the most time to complete. For example, 200 hours minimum will be needed as steam firemen before becoming a student engineer. Another 200 hours minimum of student engineer time is needed before graduating to engineer. The diesel program is 100 hours of cab instruction.
We encourage all who are interested to reflect on their goals and sign up for the program that you want to participate in. A great time to start your railroad operations volunteer experience is at one of required Safety Training Weekends. Safety Training weekends are free to members, and membership starts at $30. Check the schedule below to register. This is a two-day intensive session with classroom and hands-on training. It is a great learning experience, and the way to start your long-term relationship with the railroad as a train operations volunteer.