It is currently Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:14 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:40 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Illinois
Hi,

In three years I will be graduating high school (class of 2021) and I have decided to start looking for a career. And what else is a better thing to make a career out of than railroad preservation? Not much!

I really want to work with historic rail equipment (preferably steam locomotives) at a museum or tourist line somewhere within 100-200 miles of the greater Chicago area. I'm looking for a place that operates year-round (it doesn't have to be a public facility). Are there any places around the area that have a paid full time staff and operate year round? And if so, are they always looking for new employees?

Any information would be much appreciated.

Thomas Dyrek

_________________
Railroad station historian


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 164
Hello Thomas, I appreciate your interest in the community. I will tell you unfortunately most railroad museums are for non profit operated by volunteer staff. If you're willing to make the trek however then I'd highly recommend contacting the following:

Indiana Transportation Museum, Noblesville, IN

Adrian & Blissfield Railroad, Westland MI

Dubois County Railroad (Indiana Railway Museum subsidiary)

Wisconsin & Southern, Madison, WI (Excursions)

Iowa Interstate Railroad, Cedar Rapids, IA (Steam Excursions)


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 522
Have you thought about attending a session (or two) of NRHS's RailCamp?

It'll look great on your resume and give you a good feel for what's involved and yes scholarships from donations to NRHS are available.

Bob H


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:22 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Illinois
Heavenrich wrote:
Have you thought about attending a session (or two) of NRHS's RailCamp?

It'll look great on your resume and give you a good feel for what's involved and yes scholarships from donations to NRHS are available.

Bob H


I have brought up RailCamp with my parents before but it's a little ways out of our budget. When it comes to volunteering at museums, the closest to me is the Monticello Railway Museum, however, it's still pretty far to the point where I can only make it to the museum once or twice a year.

Thomas

_________________
Railroad station historian


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 57
Any tourist line or museum that operates daily, almost certainly has paid staff.

Here's the good news, these types of places are always going to be hiring "entry level" positions before their big season. Entry level is going to be janitor, selling tickets, selling hot dogs, gift shop, etc. It won't pay great.. but you'll be around trains and have the opportunity to learn and work your way into a position that you enjoy.

Close to Chicago? Check out the Henry Ford Greenfield Village. If you've never been... make it a priority (that goes to everyone! ha).

Outside of Chicago I would check out Durango, Strasburg, and Grand Canyon Railway.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 57
Are you wanting to work with the steam locomotives? Or have a job around steam locomotives like be a tour guide, etc. ?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:13 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Illinois
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Are you wanting to work with the steam locomotives? Or have a job around steam locomotives like be a tour guide, etc. ?


I would prefer to work with steam locomotives, although diesels would be great to work with too. It doesn't matter to me what job I do, but a tour guide sounds interesting. A friend was telling me about the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village a while ago and that's on my list of places to look into.

Another place I might be able to go to is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, but I'm not familiar with their operations and don't know much about what they do.

TD

_________________
Railroad station historian


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5260
Location: southeastern USA
A backup plan might be to go to a trade oriented community college to pick up valuable skills such as welding, machining and mechanics while either volunteering or working part time at a tourist railroad. You can then be start8ng your network while making yourself valuable and immediately applying gained skills in a practical setting. Also, certifications such as welding on pressure vessels can open many doors in steam..... best wishes.

_________________
"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1063
Location: Youngstown, OH
Start learning a trade, then the next time the Strasburg Railroad has a position available apply there. They pay pretty good and you would be working with historic railroad equipment.

If you really want to work in the industry, you will have to drop that geographical limitation. Got to go where the work is.

_________________
Rick Rowlands
Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:32 pm
Posts: 31
Being close to your age (class of 2020) I have also been looking into my career. At first, I wanted to work in the tourist railroad industry, D&S, C&TS, Georgetown Loop, etc. However, I will be looking for a job with Railroad Retirement. I live in Colorado and will be submitting my application to a few railroads around here once I graduate, including Great Western, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado (both Omnitrax operating entities), Union Pacific, and BNSF. I have a friend who wants me to help with his steam locomotive, I figure I will just go out and help him to get my preservation fix... Also, if possible try to learn as many skills as possible. I have someone teaching me the skills of welding, fabrication, and blacksmithing.

Feel free to send me a PM anytime if you would like to talk.

Cody Muse


Last edited by Cody Muse on Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 432
Location: Floyd, AR
Go to a trade school or get an apprenticeship and learn how to do high end machine work or boiler welding and repair, (or both), and you could be a continual boon to the preservation community, and your skills would easily translate out of the railroad world if you needed. These jobs can pay pretty good. You don't need collage but you DO need a specialty, and then you can make good money all your life. If not hands on, you might look into college and learn business and legal, and learn how to do grant writing. If not that, learn how to be super rich and then you can buy a RR empire with your money and donate to RR causes you find to be worthy.

_________________
Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:39 am
Posts: 11
IMHO the best way to go about this sort of thing is to start out volunteering at a railroad museum. Never (again, IMHO) go in with the explicit goal of being the next great engineer. Be willing to do all sorts of odd jobs. You will be shocked by how much work goes into just keeping the passengers/customers happy on the day of operation and the cleanup afterwards.

If people see that you are willing to quite simply work then they will be more willing to let you start into the actual operations fields.

Even if your museum isn't looking for a paid staff, the experience could be invaluable. You could be a volunteer and become a certified conductor. That is a certification that could certainly translate to a job elsewhere (but never forget where you came from).


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:42 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Illinois
Hi,

Thank you all for your tips and info about working in this occupation. I've made some adjustments to my plan and I will start looking for a place to volunteer at this coming summer. I've already looked at multiple websites of different organizations for a job and I will plan on applying for at least one the same day I graduate, sometime in May of 2021. Until then, I'll keep looking for things to add to my resume and other useful things like taking a welding class at my school.

If anybody has anymore tips or knows of more places that have a full time paid staff and operate for most of the year, please let me know. I recieved way more information than I had expected so thank you!

Thomas Dyrek

_________________
Railroad station historian


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 57
Have you looked into volunteering at Illinois Railway Museum?

Again... ANY job will gain you knowledge. If you can't work in the Steam department yet because of age, work anywhere you can.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Museums/tourist lines with a paid staff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1249
Location: Strasburg, PA
Cody Muse wrote:
Being close to your age (class of 2020) I have also been looking into my career. At first, I wanted to work in the tourist railroad industry, D&S, C&TS, Georgetown Loop, etc. However, I will be looking for a job with Railroad Retirement.
Cody Muse

The Strasburg Rail Road belongs to Railroad Retirement. I moved from Utah to work here, and I haven't been laid off one day in thirty five plus years. Considering what my other options were at the time, I feel very fortunate to have landed here when I did.

If you are truly good at machine work or welding, your skills will always be in demand. The supply of machinists (not machine operators) in the US is nowhere near meeting the demand. That equals job security.

Watch the video.

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 10stewi, Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Nova55, patentable, Ron Travis and 52 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: