Illinois Railway Museum

Volunteer Handbook -- Volunteer Requirements

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Volunteers must be current members of the museum (regular, associate, sustaining, or family), age 18 or older.  All volunteers must sign a waiver of liability before commencing work, to protect the museum and its members against any claims.

Volunteers need no prior experience in railroading, machine operation, business, or other areas.  Of course, if you do have relevant experience, we will try to use your skills appropriately.

Each department organizes its own specialized volunteer training, which can lead to increasingly responsible positions in equipment restoration and operation or other museum functions.  Volunteers usually work in a single department, but can assist other departments as desired.  Schedules are flexible, with no set requirements for the time or amount of service (except for train operations).  Work continues in all departments throughout the year, not just during the operating season.

Generally, there are no physical requirements for volunteer work at the museum; volunteers with physical limitations are welcome.  However, some of our work can be very demanding physically.  If you have any doubt as to whether you can safely perform a task, please ask for help.  Do not overexert yourself or work to the point of exhaustion or injury.  To preserve your health, follow all necessary safety precautions and use proper safety equipment, as detailed in the section on Safety.

Volunteers in train operations (which includes working as a groundman or switchman) must pass a written operating rules examination every two years.  Only rules-qualified members may operate railroad equipment, throw track switches, pass signals, or act as a dispatcher.

Train crewmembers must be in good general health, with the ability to communicate verbally, to give and receive visual and audible signals, and to physically operate the equipment. Volunteers must carry the current IRM rule book and General Order while working in train operations, and follow all established rules and procedures.

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Last Modified: 05/17/05 10:56:17 PM
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