Volunteering

Volunteers are a critical part of our operation. It is the 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 maintenance
  • Right-of-way and track maintenance
  • Archival work
  • Machine Shop and Wood Shop work
  • Communications (magneto telephone) Maintenance
  • Train Operations (Car Hosts, Trainmen, Brakemen, Engineers, Conductors, Dispatchers)

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.


You’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad: Saturday Work Sessions

Have you ever wondered what it takes to keep a railway operating? Or perhaps you have lifelong interest in railroads?
All Ages and Abilities are Welcome!
To effectively and safely manage crews, we request that you register by following the link next to the date(s) you are interested in.

Tie and Dine
Trackwork on the WW&F Railway
Get a glimpse into the past and gain an appreciation of historic railroad maintenance practices.

Learn essential railroad maintenance skills and become part of a team that has, and continues to rebuild Maine history.

Your day out on the railway will begin at 8:30am with a safety briefing. Following the briefing, work parties will assemble to learn the basic jobs. The remainder of the day until 3:00 will be spent engaged in track maintenance with a break for lunch. After work a dinner train for volunteers will depart at 4PM and return to Sheepscot at 6PM.

Level the Mountain
Tamper operators doing track maintenance
‘Big Joe’, a pneumatic tamper compacts ballast – providing a firm foundation for WW&F track.

Do you like loud, interesting machinery? If so, this might just a job for you!

Come down & join us for a fun and interesting day of volunteering. Learn railroad ballasting, tamping, and leveling skills and become part of a team that has, and continues to rebuild Maine history.

Your day out on the railway will begin at 8:30am with a safety briefing followed by going out on line to begin work. Following the briefing work parties will assemble and to learn the basic jobs. The remainder of the day until 3:00 will be spent engaged in track leveling and tamping with a break for lunch.

Trails, Trains, and Trout (Brook) Workday with Midcoast Conservancy
Trail Work Day with Midcoast Conservancy at Trout Brook Preserve

For decades, the WW&F Railway Museum has been pleased to share its historic right-of-way with the caretakers of the Trout Brook Nature Preserve for use as part of a hiking trail. With trains returning to Trout Brook after a 89-year absence, the “blue trail” must be relocated slightly so that nature lovers can safely share the corridor with the WW&F’s narrow gauge trains.


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.

 

Rebuilding Maine History