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 various volunteer opportunities that include Museum Library & Archives, the Restoration Shops, Maintenance of Way, and museum docents. Preserving and restoring artifacts, maintaining the tracks, communicating and interpreting history in the museum. 

Volunteers are able to assist with 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.

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 Open House

Saturday, April 11, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Stanford Gallery (located next to Railroad Museum)
111 I Street Sacramento, CA 95814

All Aboard for Inspiration and Education!

Talk to active volunteers about what it’s like to work behind the scenes to help keep the museum running. Spend time with docents and learn about how they help others discover how trains have impacted communities, the economy, and the unique culture of the West. Don’t have a background in railroad history? No worries! Docents receive extensive training both prior to and while volunteering at the California State Railroad Museum. 

Applications due Monday, April 13
Class begins Saturday, May 2
Classes Held: Mondays & Wednesdays 5:45pm – 8:45pm & Saturdays from 9am – 3pm

The on-boarding of new volunteers and docent training typically takes place two times a year. For further details about volunteering at the California State Railroad Museum and the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, contact the All Aboard Desk at (916) 445-0269 or [email protected]

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.