All Aboard! Mini Railroad Seeks Engineers

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Have you ever wanted to put on a striped engineer’s cap and guide a streamline diesel train or a genuine coal-burning steam locomotive down the track? If so, the Chippewa Valley Railroad can help you fulfill your childhood dream. This summer the nonprofit group put out a call for new volunteer engineers to drive its quarter-scale diesel and steam trains in Carson Park. Candidates much be at least 18 years old, have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, and be approved by the group’s executive committee. Required duties include fueling, checking lubrication (and, in the case of the steam train, water), and driving the train on the half-mile loop of track. Having fun is not mandatory, but we suspect it will be unavoidable when you see the reactions of passengers as they cruise through the pine-shaded park. “There’s a lot of happy faces and kids there,” said David Peterson, secretary-treasurer of the railroad. If you love trains but aren’t interested in being an engineer, that’s no problem: The Chippewa Valley Railroad is always seeking volunteer for other duties, from maintaining trains to selling tickets. To learn more, visit