Volunteers are essential to our organization. It is our volunteers that work on our projects, that meet and greet our visitors, and that operate our trains. We have no paid staff.
Our volunteer corps is like a family. Many meet for breakfast before the day begins or for supper after it ends. Others keep in touch with each other throughout the week.
We encourage new volunteers to come and find a place with us. All ages, abilities, and interests are welcome- there is truly something for everyone. Because of the variety of things we do, and the potential dangers of working around railroad equipment, we require that new volunteers only do work under the supervision or guidance of project managers, at least for the first couple of months, so that we can “show you the ropes”.
A few examples of volunteer work on the WW&F Railway include:
- Buildings and grounds construction & maintenance.
- Right-of-way and track construction & maintenance.
- Archival work, including computer assistance.
- Machine Shop and Wood Shop work.
- Communications (magneto telephone) maintenance.
- Train Operations (Car Hosts, Trainmen, Brakemen, Engineers, Conductors, Dispatchers).
- Gift shop and ticket sales. Customer service.
- Backend office (ticketing, customer service, IT support).
- Cooking! We like to be fed.
Volunteers are always present on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Typically, work begins by 8am on Saturdays (9am on weekdays) while “closing time” is after 4 PM. (During the late autumn and early winter months, when it gets dark early, we leave early.) Activities are usually rain or shine, but may move indoors during inclement weather.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to keep a railway operating? Or perhaps you have lifelong interest in railroads? These special “work parties” are perfect to try new skills, meet new friends, and have some fun “all the live-long day” (or just a few hours, we don’t care.)
All Ages and Abilities are Welcome!
To effectively and safely manage crews, we request that you register in advance.
Help us forge ahead on locomotive 11 as we machine and fabricate components of the rear frame of this brand new steam locomotive. The “start of assembly” has begun – be a part of rebuilding Maine history! Reservations required.
These special work days are set aside to do maintenance along the railroad – usually installing ties and ballast. After working most of the live-long day, we all board the steam-powered special “dinner train” for a cookout at our event pavilion as “thank you” for our volunteers. Volunteers of ages and abilities are welcome. Reservations recommended.
Join volunteers from around the country for our biggest work party. Exact plans are still being finalized, but expect fantastic food, marvelous comradery, and maybe a bit of track work, painting, construction, and other projects – all amidst New England’s famous fall foliage. RSVPs are greatly appreciated (but not required.)Join the Crew!
More Information on Volunteering
A few of our newest volunteers put together these guides based on their own experiences. While they are designed to be printed, they contain many details about making the most of your WW&F experience.
What to Expect
- Volunteer shifts begin around 8:30AM at 97 Cross Road, Alna, Maine.
- Wear heeled, fully enclosed above the ankle boots (safety boots are preferable.)
- Wear full legged pants (no shorts, etc.)
- Tools will be supplied, but feel free to bring ones that you are comfortable working with.
- During spring/summer months, ticks and bugs are included at no extra charge during outdoor work sessions. Appropriate repellant (and sunscreen) is recommended.
- Cut/burn sessions (aka “Steam and Saws”) feature large bonfires. Wear appropriate clothing as it will be damaged by cinders.
- Volunteers will ride the train (or carpool) to the work site, depending on the work being done.
- On Saturdays, lunch will be available for a modest donation – or pack your own. (Tues/Wed/Thurs volunteers should bring a lunch.)
- Work will conclude by 3PM.
- Younger volunteers are welcome under appropriate adult supervision.
Railway Operations and Train & Engine Service
Railway operations are covered by the WW&F’s Safety and Efficiency Program (S&EP). Those interested in train crew service must meet the following requirements to enter the program:
- Attend a rules and practice session, or obtain equivalent training from the Training Officer.
- Be issued a copy of the ‘Rules and Standards for Operation’.
- Work for the WW&F in a volunteer capacity for at least four calendar days of at least six hours each.
- Be cleared for entry into the S&EP by the training officer and the Railroad Superintendent.
- Upon Entry into the S&EP, and with further approval by the Training Officer and Railroad Superintendent, a volunteer may serve in the following positions: Car Host, Trainman, Agent.
Questions about volunteering?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.