Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Guest Post: What are Volunteers Worth?

Jerry bring his professional skills as a volunteer gets in there where the dirt is.

 A/N: Today's guest post by Art Chase discusses making railroad restoration appeal to younger volunteers, and the value of engaging them as a valuable part of any project. The images depict the restoration of Alaska Railroad 557. Photo credit: Stewart L. Sterling III

We were talking about this the other day and it has been something I have thought about often over the years.We just don't pay our tourist railroad volunteers enough! Seriously!
There isn't a group out there that wouldn't benefit from an over abundance of interest and cheap labor, and I mean really cheap. I have watch as folks will drive for miles, hang out, drop hints, almost beg to get a chance to work on a locomotive, or support a restoration, be involved in the world of railway preservation. Often their enthusiasm is maybe a little misguided and grandiose in ways they don't really know how to focus. But it is there! I can't fault them anyway. I know how they feel. Let me elaborate, cause it wasn't always in the best of ways.