Railtown 1897 is looking for volunteers who enjoy working with the public and love to share their enthusiasm for history and railroading with our visitors. Community members are encouraged to join this worthwhile program that offers an opportunity to support the local state historic park while learning more about California’s rich history, meeting new people and developing friendships with those who share similar interests. Prior experience with trains or public service is not required.

volunteers on a train

Benefits to volunteering at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park include; membership to the park including free entrance and train rides at Railtown 1897 and the California State Railroad Museum, a variety of social activities, interesting training opportunities and guest speakers, discounts at the Depot Store, and an invitation annual volunteer recognition dinner. We ask all of our volunteers for a minimum commitment of 8 hours per month. Volunteers are asked to provide and wear a uniform, specific to the position being filled. More information will be available at your intake meeting.

Railtown 1897 volunteer positions include:

Car Hosts

Assist in safe operation and loading of cars, interpret history and operations to visitors.

Tour Guides

Conduct hour-long tours of the Roundhouse and grounds.

Public Greeters

Greet visitors at park entrance, direct visitors to activities of the day, and answer questions.

Shop Maintenance

Help maintain and restore our collection of vintage locomotives, cars and equipment.

Roundhouse Hosts

Interpret history and operations of our historic roundhouse to visitors.

Volunteer Open House

Join us in January for the annual Volunteer Open House and learn about the many volunteer opportunities at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. At the Open House, prospective volunteers will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Park staff and talk with current volunteers to learn more about the various positions that are available.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride volunteers

It takes over 50 volunteers each day to run THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at Railtown 1897. Spend part of your holiday season helping creating magical memories for thousands of families. This event would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please either attend our Volunteer Open House in January, or complete and return a volunteer application.

For more information contact us at [email protected] or (209) 984-4408.