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Looking to Volunteer in the New Year? Check Out the Railroad Musuem


If volunteering is on your list of things to do in 2017 and you have a fancy for trains, history and meeting new people from all over the world, then volunteering at the Railroad Museum may just be your thing.

California State Parks, the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park (SHP) 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.

For those interested, a special, drop-in Volunteer Open House is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. and volunteer applications are being accepted now through January 18.

Each year, more than 500 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. A background in history is not required to become a volunteer. In fact, most of the volunteers in the popular program 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.  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 Railroad, or other jobs in this dynamic and fun environment.

Volunteering represents a serious commitment of at least 84 volunteer hours annually, but the hours are flexible and the rewards can be tremendous. Docents receive perks such as a discount at the Museum Store, preferential and/or early access to selected special events, and the pride of working at North America’s finest and most visited railroad museum.

The drop-in Volunteer Open House will be held on Jan. 14 in the Stanford Gallery located at 111 I Street in Old Sacramento (next door to the California State Railroad Museum).

Volunteer applications can be downloaded at parks.ca.gov and completed forms can be emailed to allaboard.csrm@parks.ca.gov or mailed/delivered to the Volunteer Coordinator, California State Railroad Museum, 111 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814. Applications will be followed by an interview process before training begins.

For more information, please call 916-445-0269 or visit californiarailroad.museum.

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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