Have you ever wanted to work on the railroad?
There are many ways you can get involved!
- Help us preserve historic railroad equipment, including our operating fleet of vintage diesel locomotives and heavyweight steel day coaches.
- Become part of the regular train crew that operates our passenger excursions on the Naugatuck Railroad.
- Help educate the public about our industrial heritage through our museum exhibits and tours.
- Volunteer your time as part of our station and gift shop staff and help our visitors feel welcome.
- Offer your professional expertise, or help arrange a donation of materials.
The Railroad Museum of New England welcomes anyone interested in volunteering to help preserve the railroading heritage of our region. Not only will you be helping to make a difference, but you may also pick up some new skills! Our exceptional volunteers are what make our museum a standout experience.
How you can help
Thomaston Station Operations
It’s not all heavy lifting to keep this railroad going! We can use your help to open up Thomaston Station and prepare our exhibits during our days of operation. Can you spare a few hours to greet our guests as they arrive and help make them feel welcome? Perhaps sell tickets or items from our gift shop?
There are many factors that go into making our museum a successful operation, and if you enjoy riding the train and interacting with the public, volunteering as a car host is for you! Our car hosts get to dress up as conductors, ride our trains, give an oral history of our railroad to riders, and punch tickets just as it would have been done in the old days!
Equipment Restoration and Maintenance
It takes a lot of work to keep our vintage railroad equipment in top operating condition. From welding to wiring to painting and more, our dedicated volunteers work behind the scenes in our newly constructed shop on restoration and rebuilding projects.
Track and Structures
Our trains are able to run dependable service week in and week out, thanks to the volunteers who help build, inspect and maintain our tracks. Help us replace crossties, spread ballast, and repair rails on our active 19-mile scenic railroad.
Marketing, Publicity, Fundraising
We’re always looking for fresh ideas in marketing, publicity and fundraising. Are you a skilled wordsmith that can help craft attention-getting press releases? Do you have experience with grant writing and other fundraising activities? Are you available to help promote our museum to local organizations and at area train shows?
How to get started
Ready to start volunteering? Simply come out during one of our regularly scheduled work sessions or contact us to get started! Read through this short list so you are prepared to work safely and comfortably in our museum environment. Please contact us if you have any questions.
- Basics: Work gloves are a must to protect your hands. Depending on where you will be volunteering, safety glasses and hard hats are required for some jobs at the museum.
- Footwear: For your safety and comfort, work boots with ankle support are preferred when working around the museum.
- Ear Protection: Ear plugs are available for your personal use.
You are going to get DIRTY! If you are planning to do any kind of maintenance or restoration work, old clothes are a must. Of course, if you are interfacing with the public on board our trains or at Thomaston Station, you will be advised of the proper dress. Many of our volunteers like to stash a clean change of clothes since many of us like to go out for a bite to eat after a day of volunteering at the museum!
We encourage all of our volunteers to join the Railroad Museum of New England to help further support the preservation of New England’s railroading history. However, we welcome anyone interested in volunteering to come on out and give things a try before you join!
Please contact us if you have any questions.