SACRAMENTO — Fascinated by railroading history? Interested in working on a train? Enjoy working with visitors, children and school groups? California State Parks, the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park are now recruiting adults (18 or older) who are interested in volunteering to help communicate the West’s fascinating heritage of railroading and the California Gold Rush.
The volunteer orientation will begin on March 1 with classes held on Monday and Wednesday evenings along with some Saturday sessions. Interested volunteers must apply and be interviewed in advance. Volunteer applications are being accepted now through Feb. 15.
A background in history is not required. In fact, most of the volunteers began with little knowledge of railroads or the Gold Rush. As individuals become more familiar with the museum’s varied and frequent programs, many volunteers take on additional responsibilities, such as conducting research or giving talks to community organizations about the museum. Upon graduation, new docents can choose to work in the museum interacting with visitors from around the world, working in the railroad restoration shops on rare and unique railroad equipment, work on the Sacramento Southern Excursion Railroad or other jobs in this dynamic and fun environment.
Volunteer training represents a serious commitment of 84 volunteer hours annually, but the hours are flexible and the rewards can be tremendous. Docents get perks such as a discount at the museum store, preferential and/or early access to some special events and the pride of working at North America’s largest and most extensive railroad-related museum.
Anyone who has ever visited the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento SHP has undoubtedly crossed paths with a docent. Each year, approximately 600 men and women volunteer for the California State Railroad Museum’s programs — including weekend excursion train operations, track construction, restoration and maintenance, even clerical work. Since the museum’s 1976 inception, volunteers have contributed more than two million hours of service.
Volunteer applications can be downloaded at parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25583. Completed applications can be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed/delivered to the Volunteer Coordinator, Capital District, 111 I St., Sacramento 95814. More information is available by calling (916) 445-0269 or (916) 323-9280.