Looking to be part of something special? Then you may wish to consider applying to be a volunteer with the APRHF-sponsored Trails & Rails program on the Southwest Chief between Chicago, Illinois and La Plata, Missouri. Trails & Rails is a partnership between Amtrak and the National Park Service that places volunteer rangers aboard trains across the country to present interpretative programs for passengers. The group between Chicago and La Plata, MO is sponsored locally by Texas A&M University and the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation in La Plata, Missouri.
Applications are being accepted now through 5:00PM CST on November 14, 2013 for the upcoming 2014 season, which is expected to consist of about 35-40 total round trips between Chicago and La Plata, MO during Summer 2014 and possibly around 10-15 round trips during the Winter 2014 holiday season. The typical volunteer completes between 4 and 6 round trips per season. All trips are based out of Chicago Union Station and return to Chicago Union Station. While volunteer expenses such as train tickets, meals, and your hotel rooms are covered during your trip… you must pay all your own travel expenses to/from Chicago Union Station.
Anyone who would like more information or to express their interest in becoming part of the Trails & Rails program in 2014 should e-mail Chicago Coordinator Robert Tabern at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00PM CST on November 14, 2013. All applicants will then be assigned a date and time to complete a mandatory in-person interview set to take place during the second week of December 2013 at Chicago Union Station. Shortly thereafter, applicants will be advised if they will be accepted to be docents for the 2014 season or will be added to the “waiting list” for the 2014 season.
For the 2013 season, 52 people applied and only 25 were accepted. We are looking to add around only 5 new docents for the 2014 season… but don’t let that discourage you from applying for the program.