RAILS: DCNRHS' Volunteer Program
The programs of the DCNRHS are accomplished through the efforts of individuals who support the chapter with their time and effort. Our volunteers are the most critical and unique resource that DCNRHS has, and through their efforts, they provide leadership in all aspects of Chapter operations.
To recognize these individuals‘ contributions, DCNRHS has established the RAILS program. RAILS (Recognizing And Incentivizing LeaderS) recognizes and rewards members for the invaluable time and effort they contribute to Chapter programs.
As one of the country’s largest and most active NRHS Chapters, DCNRHS has a wide variety of programs that need your help!
The Martin F. O’Rourke Memorial Railroad Library in Bowie, MD is staffed entirely with volunteers who operate the library, catalog the collections, and conduct research on a variety of rail topics.
DCNRHS Rail Operations are a unique opportunity to work on the Chapter’s vintage railcars:
•Dover Harbor, a classic American Pullman car built in 1923
•Franklin Inn , a stainless Pennsylvania RR car build in 1949
•Collinsville Inn , a stainless Pennsylvania RR car build in 1949
Help is needed with trip planning, maintenance and restoration, and travel as a steward, chef, mechanic or car host.
Chapter Operations and Member Services are entirely volunteer-staffed. DCNRHS depends on members for monthly membership programs, newsletter articles, special events such as National Train Day, website support, public outreach, marketing, strategic planning, and Chapter leadership roles.
Opportunities for fun and adventure abound! If you can donate a lot of time, great, but if not, an hour or two here and there can make a world of difference! Much of the work can be done from home. Here are some of our critical people needs (not all inclusive):
Don’t be shy! Don’t say “I can’t do that.” If you can apply your professional expertise in one of these roles great! But there is ample opportunity to learn, and many of these jobs are not complex. We will help guide you through the work. Please help us. To accept a position, to offer services in another area, or for further information, contact our President.
Painting photo by M. Piotrowski
Service photos by Seth Grant
RAILS: What do I need to Know?
- All hours worked on chapter activities are recorded by volunteers, and logged in the chapter’s official hours tracking system
- Volunteers are recognized at the annual banquet with a certificate that documents all hours worked as ‘miles’ travelled in service of the Chapter
- Members will receive awards of DCNRHS Company Store logo/railroad themed merchandise, and be eligible to participate in exclusive reward events, based on ‘miles travelled’ (i.e. hours worked)
- RAILS incorporates existing membership recognition such as NRHS service pins and annual awards
- The RAILS program will be administered according to documented policies as approved by the President and Board of Directors
- Volunteer forms and information, including blank timesheets, are available here.
RAILS Volunteer Forms
- Most volunteers will be looking for the Individual Timesheet to download
- All these documents are stored on a google site and presented in a google viewer. It does not always present the document correctly. To get the original file, after opening the document click on download in the upper left of the google window.
RAILS: Types of Recognition
- Bent Spike Award
Lifetime achievement award for members who have "Bent over Backwards" to serve DCNRHS in an exceptional way.
- Dover Harbor Award
Annual award to individuals who contributed most significantly to our Dover Harbor. Named for Legendary Mechanical Officer Bernard H. Gallagher who started the Dover Harbor Program in 1979.
- Member of the Year
Annual award to the member who contributes most to DCNRHS. Named after long-time DCNRHS President Dr. Henry V. A. Bielstein, MD.
- Service Pin
Issued at 25, 50, 60 and 75 years service by NRHS
Certificate issued for hours worked, as recorded by volunteers and tracked in DCNRHS records
Ad hoc, on the spot recognition of exceptional one-time/specific service.
- DCNRHS Company Store Awards
Chapter logo and/or railroad themed items such as water bottles, ball caps, gear bags or sportswear
- Members-Only Trips and Events
Special members-only events and trips