The Oregon Rail Heritage Center runs entirely on volunteers. And we have absolutely the best group of dedicated and talented volunteers. Untold hours of volunteer effort have gotten us to this point. Now that the Center is open to the public, there are new and expanded areas where volunteers can make meaningful contributions.
If you would like to participate in any of the following areas, please contact our volunteer coordinator at Volunteer Coordinator. Or, visit the Rail Heritage Center during normal public hours and sign up at the front desk. If you have skills and experience in other areas that you feel might be useful in the operation of a working interpretive center, we want to hear from you too!
Links to Volunteer Application sites for:
|Holiday Express Ground Crew||Volunteer Application Form|
|Holiday Express Car Hosts||Volunteer Application Form|
|Rail Heritage Center Staff||Volunteer Application Form|
All positions require dedication and a passion for our goals. In some positions we will train you on the specific aspects of your role. In others we hope that you will bring unique skills that we can learn from. Your reward as an ORHC volunteer will come from having been a part of creating an exciting new community attraction.
As this is a working facility all volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old, for their own safety and that of our guests. Teens may be allowed to accompany a parental volunteer in certain positions during special events.
Docents are interpretive guides in a museum. Ours are the primary interface with the visiting public and are responsible for creating an enjoyable and educational experience for our guests. Docents explain the stories and details about our equipment and railroading in an entertaining manner, while insuring the public’s safety in a working enginehouse. Successful candidates will have the capability of and an interest in never-ending learning along with a public presence and the ability to perform with minimal supervision. Smiling faces are the measure of success in this vital volunteer role.
Our Gift Shop provides an opportunity for visitors to find that special memento of their visit to the Rail Heritage Center and is an important revenue source. Gift Shop volunteers help guests in their selection, collect payment for the purchases, and administer memberships and donations. Successful candidates will have a pleasant out-going manner, attention to detail, and the ability to perform with minimal supervision.
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of the enginehouse and that creates a wide range of administrative opportunities. From membership processing, data entry, and mailings to running errands or cleaning, there are many tasks in which you can contribute in this vital area. Organizational and leadership ships are always a plus.
Skills in Marketing and Promotion could help us grow our attendance. Assume a low budget environment in which to be creative.
Software development will automate certain administrative functions such as volunteer scheduling, membership and donor management, and management reporting. Bring your .NET skills in web and desktop development.
We have a broad range of projects for volunteers interested in writing, editing, and publishing. From newsletters, promotional material, web pages, and informational flyers to documenting operating procedures, roles, and interpretive displays there is plenty of opportunity to challenge you. The successful persons will be able to take an area that interests them and run with it.
Interpretive displays create learning opportunities for our guests and we are starting from the ground up. Graphic Artists, Modelers, and Educators may find this an area that interests them. There are limited financial resources at this point, so there are real opportunities to be extra creative.
Help us to understand how to use social media to our maximum advantage in promoting the Center.
Grant Researchers will help find additional funding opportunities. Identify and apply for grants.
Providing space for outside groups to hold Special Events will be an important income source. Event Coordinators will work with those groups to facilitate the event. Special Event Staff is necessary for outside events as well as those hosted by ORHC.
The locomotives are each maintained by their own group of volunteers. In all cases, the members of these groups have worked together for many years and have learned to trust each other while performing complicated or dangerous tasks. It is very rare that new members are added to these groups. However, if you have advanced skills as a welder, machinist, or other highly specialized area, you might be invited to discuss how you might contribute.
We also have a responsibility to develop the next generation of volunteers to maintain these publicly owned treasures. If you are young and strong, mechanically inclined, are willing to get dirty, perform any assigned task, and have the passion to dedicate the next 20 to 30 years to learning about steam locomotives, one of the engine crews might consider you as an apprentice.
And yes, this is intentionally worded to sound discouraging as the reality is the number of people who express interest in working on the locomotives far exceeds the opportunities. Only those showing the most passion and dedication to the ORHF mission may earn that opportunity. If you are willing to work at special events and/or spend time at the enginehouse helping with any task that needs to be done, it affords an excellent opportunity for people to get to know you and see your passion. Ask to be notified of general projects or sign up for one of the above Rail Heritage Center roles.
Contact our volunteer coordinator at The Volunteer Coordinator for more information or to apply.