Welcome to the Friends of the Valley Railroad. The Friends of the Valley Railroad (FVRR) is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the awareness, appreciation and historic preservation of railroads through education and participation, primarily focusing on the original Connecticut Valley Railroad and its successor companies from 1871 to the present day. The FVRR has a history of volunteering at the Valley Railroad that began in 1991. The skills you bring as a volunteer are of great value to the Valley Railroad and we hope that the experience will be rewarding to you also.
- All persons wishing to volunteer at the Valley Railroad must first become Associates of the FVRR. There is no other class of volunteers.
A minimum annual contribution of $25.00 is required to become an Associate of the FVRR.Please see dues structure on page 6 for specifics.
- Responsibility for management of all volunteer activities rests with the Valley Railroad Company (VRR) and its employees, and with FVRR Directors. Each Volunteer Session will have a Crew Leader designated from one of these organizations. That Crew Leader will have complete responsibility for the Volunteer Session.
- No one may work as a volunteer until they are an Associate of FVRR and an application form and waiver of liability form have been completed, signed and provided to the Crew Leader or designee for approval and signature. Minimum age for full affiliation in the FVRR is eighteen. Young people between the ages of fourteen and seventeen may volunteer as Junior Associates when accompanied and supervised by an adult FVRR Associate after a Release and Waiver has been signed by the teenager and his parent or legal guardian. No person under the age of fourteen will be permitted to work as a volunteer under any circumstances.
- Included in this booklet is a listing of the railroad’s general safety rules. At your first work session, and at appropriate intervals thereafter, the Crew Leader will instruct the volunteer(s) on safety rules and practices specific to the job.
- Associates are required to document hours volunteered for proper record keeping. If you are unsure of how to document your time worked please ask the Crew Leader.
- It is understood that all work performed by the volunteers in their capacity as Associates of the FVRR is volunteer work (i.e., performed gratuitously without monetary compensation). All volunteers agree to consent to total supervision, direction and control by the agents of VRR, operator of the premises, and all volunteers agree to vacate the premises under any conditions if requested to do so by agents of the VRR or the Crew Leader.
General Safety Rules
Your safety, and the safety of others, is of primary importance. Review and become familiar with the following rules:
- Associates work at their own risk. In case of any doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be followed.
- Report any unsafe act or condition seen to your Crew Leader immediately.
- If you have any doubt as to the safe method of performing assigned tasks, see your Crew Leader before proceeding.
- Notify your Crew Leader before entering confined spaces.
- To possess, use, or be under the influence of drugs, alcohol or controlled substances is prohibited.
- Warnings are to be obeyed by all volunteers.
- Immediately report any personal injury, regardless of severity, to your Crew Leader.
- Volunteers are required to comply with all Personal Protective Equipment requirements for their work area at all times. Failure to use required Personal Protective Equipment is grounds for termination of volunteer status.
- Horse play is not permitted at any time.
- Tampering with or altering safety appliances is prohibited.
- Machinery shall not be started before a thorough inspection is made to assure that other personnel are clear of moving parts.
- Do not use or operate tools or powered equipment without knowledge of its use and without the authorization of your Crew Leader.
- Be watchful of any unsafe procedure by workers in your area, and advise them, or your Crew Leader, of it.
- Tools must be stored and work areas must be clean at the end of the work session.
- Do not begin work on a piece of rolling stock unless certain that the track the equipment is on is protected by a blue flag.
- Expect movement of trains, engines or cars at any time, on any track, in either direction.
- Move to a place of safety on the approach of a train, when working on or about the track.
- Do not cross tracks without first looking in both directions to see if anything is approaching.
- Do not board or alight from a train without permission of the conductor or trainman. NEVER BOARD OR ALIGHT FROM MOVING EQUIPMENT!
- Prevent unauthorized persons from opening side or trap doors on vestibuled equipment, or gates on open platform cars.
- Avoid carrying buckets or other articles on ends of cars where they may fall off causing injury.
- Do not walk through escaping steam instead of going around it, and do not get on the forward foot-board of an engine.
- Do not walk on track, frogs, switches or guard rails except in the performance of duty.
- When working near tracks, avoid movements of arms or lamps that might be interpreted as signals.
- Keep a sharp lookout for approaching trains or equipment on adjacent tracks while working about cars and engines.
- Avoid coming in contact with dangling wires of any kind and report such wires to enable attention to be given to avert accident.
- Avoid using private property adjoining railroad while going to and from places of employment.
- Do not enter upon the company’s property other than by the established gateways and entrance.
Rules of Conduct
Appropriate personal conduct related to and during the course of volunteer activities is crucial to the success of the organization. Being an Associate of the FVRR can be a fun and rewarding activity if some simple rules of conduct are followed.
- Associates should conduct themselves in a professional manner in the course of their volunteer activities, especially when interacting with or working around the public.
- VRR is the owner of the shop equipment and the owner/lessee of the railroad equipment on this site. Respect the equipment at all times. Do not remove any equipment or materials from the property at any time without approval of the VRR.
- Associates must avoid posting on social media sites or speaking to the media or in any other public venue in such a manner as to give the impression that they are speaking for the VRR or FVRR.
- In the course of volunteering, Associates may receive VRR or FVRR information considered confidential. Such information is for internal use only. Any public dissemination of this information without prior approval could be considered grounds for termination.
- Associates are expected to respond to work session/crew requests even if unable to attend.
Level 1Porter Level
- $25 required contribution
- 0-25 volunteer hours
Level 2Mogul Level
- $100 contribution ($33)
- 26-50 volunteer hours
Level 3Consolidation Level
- $200 contribution ($59)
- 51-90 volunteer hours
Level 4Mikado Level
- $400 contribution ($108)
- 91+ volunteer hours
- Porter Level gets a free subscription to the FVRR newsletter, The Valley Flyer.
- Mogul Level includes the newsletter, the FVRR calendar, an invitation to the Annual Recognition Event, and the Associates contribution waived for the year.
- Consolidation Level is the same as the Mogul Level, plus one pair of steam train and riverboat tickets.
- Mikado Level is the same as the Consolidation Level with the addition of one pair of dinner train tickets.
All persons wishing to volunteer at the Valley Railroad must become Associates of the FVRR.
To cover basic insurance and record-keeping costs, the FVRR has established a minimum annual contribution of $25 to become an Associate of the FVRR. The following year’s contribution would be waived for Associates who contribute 25 volunteer hours the previous calendar year.
The 25 volunteer hours can easily be achieved, for example, during just a couple of Wednesday night shop sessions or Saturday track days, but all volunteer hours need to be documented in the sign-in book at the work sessions.
The FVRR has also established the following participation levels and contribution levels for Associates who are not able to volunteer their time but who wish to support the work of the FVRR financially. Levels 2, 3 and 4 can be acheived by either the hours or donations listed.
More detailed information may be found in the Friends of the Valley Railroad Guidelines for Volunteers booklet.