Help protect history and keep the heritage of railroads alive at one of the most exciting Museums in the United States.

General Info

The California State Railroad Museum has a variety of volunteer opportunities that you can participate in! Whatever your skillset, there are many ways for you to be an active and vital member of the California State Railroad Museum Volunteer community.

School Program Volunteers

Are you passionate about educating and inspiring young minds?

The California State Railroad Museum is looking for dedicated volunteers to join our team as Field Trip Docents for 4th and 5th-grade students. As a Field Trip Docent, you will have the chance to share the rich history of the Transcontinental Railroad with eager young learners in a fast paced and interactive environment.

You should be available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday mornings in March, April, and May. While experience working with children is preferred, we also offer training on interpreting to children.

If you have a passion for education and can commit your time to inspire young students, we want to hear from you! To learn more, please fill out this short form. Upon completion of the form, we will email you with more information about the training process and our school programs.

Education Volunteer Interest Form

Ways to get involved

Volunteers are able to assist with the following:

The preservation and restoration of artifacts in the Museum’s collection and work behind the scenes in the Upholstery Shop, Museum Library & Archives, and the Restoration Shops.

Volunteers on the Maintenance of Way crew and Signals Department maintain the tracks and signals along the mainline of the California State Railroad Museum’s operating railroad, the Sacramento Southern.

Docents provide tours, conduct hands-on interpretive activities, and participate in school programs.

Active docents may also elect to receive specialized training for programs such as the Sacramento Southern Railroad and the Amtrak Interpretive Program.

Applications & Upcoming Training

Would you like to help preserve, interpret, or communicate our railroad history? Do you have a passion for inspiring others, restoring vintage equipment, or simply want to help maintain the tracks or signals of our operating railroad? Help make a difference and volunteer with the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento State Historic Park!

Volunteer Applications

Applications to become a volunteer with the California State Railroad Museum can be submitted at any time. Email [email protected] for more information.

Please note that the restoration shops and library & archives are fully staffed at this time and not able to take on more volunteers.


As demand and scheduling allows, potential volunteers will be interviewed and invited to join the volunteer program. Depending on the department that volunteers are interested in, the training schedule may vary.

For potential Museum Docents and Railroad Operations Docents, the training schedule lasts approximately 4 weeks.


    For more information, contact CSRM's Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or (916) 445-0269.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    You will be asked to volunteer at least 84 hours per year, which equals seven hours per month. You will choose the program(s) in which you work and also what days and times you volunteer.
    There is no fee. However, volunteers must provide or purchase uniforms.
    There are a wide variety of opportunities such as: Museum Docent, Library & Archives, Maintenance of Way, Restoration Projects, Signals Department, School Programs, Sacramento Southern Railroad, and special events such as the Polar Express Train Ride.
    Yes. When working with the public, your uniform consists of an approved historic costume or white shirt/blouse and dark pants.
    A docent at the California State Railroad Museum works directly with the public to educate and entertain visitors with history. Docents explain selected aspects of railroad history and railroading. Docents may also elect to receive specialized training for certain programs.
    Everyone is welcome to volunteer! Museum volunteers are provided with rigorous and enriching course of study and training about the museum and it's artifacts. Additional training is offered to active docents, such as training for the Sacramento Southern Railroad.
    The Museum is open seven days a week, every day of the year except, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Programs operate throughout the year on certain days. Giving volunteers plenty of options to fit their schedule.
    We have plenty of options to chose from if public speaking isn't your preferred choice! There are railroad track crew for Signals, railtoad Maintenance of Way, and options in the Restoration Shops. If you prefer being indoors: The Museum library desires assistance with its archival projects. However, our docent training is designed to help volunteers overcome potential shyness. The training classes will prepare you for dealing with public speaking.
    The minimum age is 16, with a guardian present. Guardian must be present during training and during scheduled volunteer hours.