No prior experience in railroading or transportation is necessary to volunteer as a crew member on the NSSR.
- be at least 18 years of age
- have a willingness to work as part of a team
- have a safety minded attitude
- be willing to follow company policies, state statutes, and federal regulations
- submit to and pass a pre-employment drug screening as well as random tests while operating as a crew member
- pass medical, hearing, and vision testing
- submit state and federal driver’s records for review
- pass written and practical tests
The administrative side of these requirements, as well as testing, will be addressed and completed during training.
Classes are free, as is all aspects of volunteering with the railroad. The seminars will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Duluth. Parking is free for students in the Radisson lot. Lunch will be provided each day. Class hours are 8 am to 4 pm each day and will be held on the following dates:
- Feb 10th & 11th
- Feb 24th & 25th
- Mar 16th & 17th
If you are not from the Duluth area and would like to stay at the Radisson during our training session weekends, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on a reduced rate.
Path to Certification
Students are required to attend 48 hours of classroom training and pass a written test before proceeding to “on the job” (OJT) training. OJT training consists of a minimum of 60 hours. The first portion of OJT training is in a controlled environment with instructors. The remainder of OJT takes place with NSSR crew members on actual scheduled passenger trains. New volunteers are expected to complete the 60 hours of OJT by late October, 2024.
When students feel confident, and management feels they are ready, a check ride takes place allowing students to demonstrate knowledge and the ability to work safely as part of the NSSR team. A successful check ride allows the newly certified member to sign up as a conductor or brakeman on scheduled trains.
If a crew member’s eventual goal is to be a locomotive engineer and operate the train, this course is the first step in that direction.