Railtown 1897 seeks volunteers

By January 22, 2013

JAMESTOWN — Fascinated by trains? Enjoy working with people from near and far? A rail enthusiast at heart?

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) is now accepting applications for people interested in volunteering to help communicate the fascinating railroading history of the “Movie Railroad” in the beautiful Sierra foothills.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to attend a volunteer open house on Saturday, Feb. 2, beginning at 9 a.m. Volunteer applications must be submitted by Monday, Feb. 4, and a thorough volunteer training program will begin on Feb. 9.

Community members are encouraged to join this worthwhile program that offers an opportunity to support the local state historic park while learning more about California’s rich history, meeting new people and developing friendships with those who share similar interests.

While no previous experience with trains or public service is required, recruitment is currently underway for the following volunteer positions in 2013: car hosts, ticket agents, tour guides, costumed greeters and fire patrol operators (entry level engine crew).

At the open house, prospective volunteers will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the park staff and talk to current volunteers to learn about the various positions that are available.

Informal tours of the operation will be conducted and snacks will be served.

This is also a great day to visit — even for those not interested in volunteering — as the historic roundhouse will be filled with activity as volunteers showcase their skills.

Railtown 1897 SHP is known for its century-old steam maintenance shops and train rides, including popular rides behind the recently restored Sierra No. 3 (also known as the “Movie Star Locomotive”). In addition to the weekend excursion steam trains, Railtown 1897 SHP offers daily tours, roving interpreters and many special events.

Benefits for volunteering at Railtown 1897 SHP include membership in the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, free entrance and train rides at Railtown 1897 SHP and at the California State Railroad Museum, a variety of social activities, interesting training opportunities and guest speakers, discounts at the depot store, and participation in an annual volunteer recognition dinner.

Interested volunteers can download a volunteer application at

To explore additional ways to support or get involved with Railtown 1897 SHP e-mail park staff at [email protected] or call 209-984-4408.

Operated by California State Parks with assistance from the nonprofit California State Railroad Museum Foundation, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park offers year-round tours plus train rides weekends April through October (selected dates only November through December). Known as “The Movie Railroad,” the park and its trains have been featured in hundreds of feature films, TV shows, and commercials.

The park is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Reservoir Road in Jamestown, reached by highways 49/108.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is open Thursdays through Mondays (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day) and the park’s operating hours vary by season: April through October, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; November through March, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information call Railtown 1897 State Historic Park at 209-984-3953 or visit


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