Central Pacific Depot in Old Sacramento

Railroad Museum Volunteers Wanted

Would you like to volunteer at the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park? If you are interested in helping to communicate the West’s fascinating heritage of railroading and the California Gold Rush contact the Museum at (916) 445-0269.

Anyone who has ever visited the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento SHP knows who the docents are. Dressed in railroad garb or other period attire, they answer questions and discuss history with guests. There are many other volunteers, too: During 2006, over 500 men and women were active with the Railroad Museum’s programs—including weekend steam train operations, track construction, restoration and maintenance, even clerical work. Since the Museum’s 1976 inception, volunteers have contributed over 2 million hours of service!

As part of their training, volunteers are encouraged to consider participating in one or more Museum programs. For example, volunteers may choose to serve as docents and Museum tour guides; participate in hands-on, interactive educational programs for school groups; become involved with train operations on the Sacramento Southern Railroad; or orient visitors at Old Sacramento State Historic Park’s historic Eagle Theatre and Huntington & Hopkins Hardware Store.

If you don’t have a history background, don’t worry. Most of our volunteers began with little knowledge of railroads or the Gold Rush! As they 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. There are no fees charged. Perks for active volunteers include free parking while on duty, invitation to an annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet, complimentary Museum membership, and the chance to meet new, interesting people. A minimum annual commitment of 84 hours is required for active Museum volunteers.

For further details about volunteering at the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park, email Volunteers.Capital@parks.ca.gov or call the museum at 916-324-7593.

Operated by California State Parks with financial assistance from the non-profit California State Railroad Museum Foundation, the California State Railroad Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Widely regarded as North America’s finest and most popular railroad museum, the complex of facilities includes the 100,000-square foot Railroad History Museum plus the reconstructed Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station and Freight Depot, 1849 Eagle Theatre, and Big Four and Dingley Spice Mill commercial buildings in Old Sacramento. For updated 24-hour information, call (916) 445-6645 or visit www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org.