Skip to main content


Get on the Inside Track

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Northwest Railway Museum!

Whether you want to explore personal interests or learn a new skill, our volunteer program has something for everyone. This is a great way to meet new people who share your passions, while supporting the excitement and influence of railway history in Washington State. Families can volunteer together, or you can volunteer as an individual! Join the Northwest Railway Museum and share the excitement of a working railroad!

Here you will find information about our volunteer program and instructions on how to apply. Please note that all volunteers age 16 and over are subject to a WSP background check during the application process. If you have questions about our volunteer program, contact our Volunteer Coordinator at

Apply Online to Volunteer

Once your application is submitted, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview based on the Museum’s needs. Successful applicants will receive training specific to their area of interest.

Apply Online

Volunteer Benefits

Northwest Railway Museum volunteers contribute over 12,000 hours annually! Volunteers receive annual benefits including:

  • 10% discount on purchases in the Depot Bookstore or Train Shed Gift Shop
  • Up to 4 complimentary train ride passes per each active volunteer per year, for regular train ride excursions only. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for passes. Passes must be redeemed for a ticket through Visitor Services.
  • Reciprocal free admission to participating regional museums during National Volunteer Week, every April
  • Invitation to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration
  • Access to training and continued education

Train Crew

Our Train Crew are likely the most visible and memorable faces at our museum. Train Crew volunteers are responsible for the safe operation of our train and providing information on the museum programs, events, and collection. Each position on Train Crew is unique. Car Attendants assist and interact with passengers; Conductors are responsible for the movement of the train and passenger safety; Brakemen* and Firemen* maintain a clear track and call out switches and signals. Engineers can learn how to operate and maintain our diesel and steam engines.


Train Crew serves weekends during our Running Trades Program, during special events, and as needed for chartered and educational programs throughout the year.

Train Crew serves at least one shift a month, at least one shift during special events, and as needed for chartered educational programs throughout the year. Shifts are typically 8 hours and include built in break times.


Our skilled Train Crew receive extensive training. No previous train experience is required to begin learning!

Minimum age is 16 years with some positions reserved for those 18 and 21 years or older. Volunteers under 16 years of age might consider Conductor’s Assistant or Special Events Volunteering {Link to Special Event section}. Train Crew qualifications vary by position, but all volunteers must pass the Museum issued Rules and Regulations test and hold current certifications issued by the Museum. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.

*Historically, train related job descriptions included gender specific terms such as “Trainman” or “Brakeman.” The Northwest Railway Museum uses these historical terms for its Train Crew positions. In no way is the use of gender specific language intended to discriminate against individuals who do not identify as male.

Conductor’s Assistant

Partner with qualified Conductors who serve as mentors for young people interested in volunteering with our passenger rail program. Conductor’s Assistants help with calling train passengers aboard and provide helpful information to visitors about the railway’s history. This is a great opportunity for young people to learn new skills!


Conductor’s Assistants serve weekends during our Running Trades Program and during special events. Shifts are dependent upon the availability of qualified Conductors. We ask Conductor’s Assistants to serve frequently to retain and practice newly acquired skills.


Conductor’s assistants are between the ages of 12 and 16 and demonstrate an understanding of and adherence to safety procedures. All training is provided by Museum appointed qualified Conductors. Conductor’s Assistants do not need to have passed the Museum issued Rules & Regulations test yet.

*All conductor’s assistants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult guardian volunteering with them.

Conservation and Restoration Workshop (CRW)

Conservation and Restoration Workshop (CRW) Volunteers work behind the scenes to restore and preserve our historic locomotives, cars, and passenger coaches. CRW Volunteers work on all aspects of our conservation and restoration projects – everything from sanding and painting to boiler and engine repair. Some of our CRW Volunteers come from specialized backgrounds while others learn skills along the way.


CRW Volunteers schedule shifts based on staff availability and project need. Weekday and weekend shifts are available.


CRW volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. While no experience is required to participate, volunteers must demonstrate an exemplary adherence to safety procedures and be able to follow staff instruction.

Archives and Collection

The Northwest Railway Museum Collection includes published and unpublished material about railroad history and technology. The research library and archives are housed in the temperature and humidity-controlled environment of our Railway Education Center. Collection Support Volunteers assist the Collections Team in preserving and cataloguing this unique collection.


Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator about current volunteer needs in this department. These positions are ideal for college or higher-level interns in a museum-related field with an interest in the Collection and/or Library and Archives.

Docent Program

Docents share their passion for history with visitors by helping the Museum interpreting its collection in the Train Shed Exhibit Hall and the Snoqualmie Depot, as well as the history of the railway during train rides. Docents lead engaging tours that help visitors understand how the railroad changed everything. .


Docents serve weekends during our Running Trades Program, during special events, and for educational programming. Shifts are typically 3 to 4 hours long.


Minimum age is 16 years or older. Docents must complete our Docent training program; a multi-week course offered each spring. Docents must demonstrate an understanding of the museum’s interpretive program, creativity, and critical thinking.

Special Event Volunteers

Special Events Volunteers assist during museum events such as Day Out With Thomas™, Santa Train, and Snoqualmie Days. Special Events Volunteers help with all aspects of these events including event set up, ticketing/admissions, kids’ activities, food, and drink service, assisting train crew, and more.


Special Events Volunteers serve during special events, July through December. We ask Special Events Volunteers to consider serving at least one shift per special event.


Special Events Volunteers need only enthusiasm and some time.

Special Project Volunteers

Special Projects Volunteers support the Northwest Railway Museum in a variety of ways. Do you have a special skill, interest area, or hobby? Let us know! Past projects have included photography, film, landscaping, and more. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator to learn more.

Apply Online or By Mail

Once your application is submitted, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview based on the Museum’s needs. Successful applicants will receive training specific to their area of interest.

Printed applications can be mailed to: Volunteer Coordinator
PO Box 459
Snoqualmie, WA 98065


Have questions or need more information about Volunteer Opportunities?

Feel free to reach out to us.

Skip to content