Become a Volunteer

If you like trains, history, and entertainment, we may have just the thing for you.  The mission of the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad (ASVRR) is the Preservation and operation of rail equipment, the Education and Entertainment of the folks of all ages who ride our trains.  We talk about railroads in Kansas and Dickinson County and offer education about the interaction between railroads and agriculture in Kansas.  

It takes a lot of people to keep the trains moving!  Our volunteers fall into two broad categories of service: Train Services and Guest Services. 

Train Service Personnel are the folks that keep the wheels turning, These volunteers are those whose responsibilities may include maintaining the track and equipment, or operating a train as a conductor, brakeman, fireman or engineer. 

Guest Service volunteers are those who interact with our customers to make sure they have an enjoyable and entertaining time. Guest Services volunteers are those who responsibilities include ticket sales, merchandising and product sales, presenting lectures during a train ride, hosting onboard the train, serving meals onboard the train, maintaining the cleanliness of our depot and train cars, or serving as a docent in our museum. Our Guest Services volunteers may also serve at the Hoffman Mill in Enterprise as merchandising or product sales personnel.

No Railroad Experience??  Don’t worry, we offer training for you.  We want to make sure you know how to operate safely in whatever volunteer role you choose. The safety of our volunteers and passengers is a vital component of what we do.

Our volunteers come from a wide variety of careers including High school and college teaching; Medical doctor; Radio station chief engineer; Chamber of Commerce/CVB executive; Methodist minister; Truck mechanic; Farmer; Traveling nurse; 747 Airline pilot; Machinist; Surgeon; Seamstress; Helicopter repair technician; Law enforcement; Archivist; Retail ownership and management; former railroader, and active military.

You don’t live in the Abilene area?  No problem!! Our volunteers come from many points in Kansas: Abilene, Alma, Hutchinson, Wichita, Manhattan, Junction City, Topeka, Glasco, Fort Riley and Salina.  We have one volunteer who commutes monthly from Miami, Oklahoma!  While we can’t offer full mileage reimbursement, we can offer the IRS-approved $.14/mile for those living outside of Dickinson County. If you need it, you can get a coupon good for fuel purchase at a close by station. As a 501(c)-3 Non-Profit corporation, we are limited by the IRS in what we can offer our volunteers. 

No matter your experience or age, we’d welcome the opportunity to have you work with us. Most of our positions require you to be at least 18 years of age, however, we do have some that are available for those aged 16-17. People who volunteer for the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad bring many skills to the organization, unified by one important trait: They have a lifelong fascination with railroads, and they are interested in helping us preserve the legacy of railroads in American society.

Whatever your skills set, remember: We can use your help! To volunteer, please fill out the volunteer form and we’ll get back to you to visit more about your interests in helping us bring Kansas railroad history to life!

If you’d like to join us, just click the “Application” button below, complete and submit your application, and we’ll soon be in touch.


I started my volunteer training in 2023 and I am now working on my Brakeman Certification. This is an absolutely great organization! The people are amazing to work with – the vision and scope is: “The Tracks are Endless.” So to all young and old, near and far, come visit and experience a live heritage railroad in action! Check out the A&SVRR website to learn, see, and to experience a ride and perhaps even to a wonderful dinner aboard one of these heated and air-conditioned coaches. It’s a trip that you will never forget. See you soon!
-Tim Brown

ASVRR Non-discrimination policy

As a living history museum, the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad Association welcomes the participation and diverse perspectives from volunteers from all socioeconomic backgrounds, including gender, race, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and veteran status. Our organization’s unique focus on the interconnectedness of railroads, the people, and the land in our state adds a rich chapter to the histories of community engagement and economic development that built the agribusiness-based economy of Kansas. Our goal is to bring volunteers to our organization who can share unique personal and family perspectives that built the history and culture of the region.

Download the Sunflower Summer app to ride a Flint Hills Express excursion train with us this summer. Sunflower Summer Tickets and rides are available May 25th through August 11th.

Our trains depart from our depot at 10AM and 2pm Wednesday through Saturday and at 2PM on Sunday.

 You need to arrive at our depot at least 30 minutes prior to departure times to make sure you have time to get your ticket. 

* Click the x at the top right corner of this pop-up to view our full website.

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