Railroad stations figure prominently into journeys by train and serve as community gateways. Towns have discovered that station host volunteers are a wonderful way to staff their stations, represent their communities and provide travelers with a warm welcome.

Volunteer station hosts group photo - Kirkwood.

Volunteer station hosts in Kirkwood, Mo., staff the station every day of the year. Image courtesy of Bill Burckhalter.

A station host volunteer program may be coordinated at the city level, or have a broader scope that addresses the needs of multiple communities along an Amtrak route. A knowledgeable and informed volunteer can answer travelers’ questions about the train, assist customers on and off the train, promote rail travel, highlight local attractions and foster an inviting atmosphere at the station.

Station Host Volunteer Manual

This sample Station Host Volunteer Manual reflects best practices as developed by the North Carolina Train Host Association, the Station Host Association of California and the Station Host Program in Kirkwood, Mo. It is meant to assist local governments, transportation authorities and rail advocates interested in developing a station host volunteer program, which can be tailored to a community’s individual needs.

The Station Host Volunteer Manual covers the following topics:

  • Getting Started – Things to consider and who to contact.
  • Success Stories & Case Studies – Features of successful station host volunteer programs, examples of active programs across the country and in-depth explorations of best practices.
  • Sample Association Manual – Intended to serve as a guideline, the sample manual should be adapted by a community to fit its needs. The manual discusses a station host volunteer program constitution and bylaws; station host role; safety in and around the station; and general Amtrak policies. It also includes useful sample documents such as a station host application and station host log report.

A Look at Successful Station Host Programs

Kirkwood volunteers on the platform

Kirkwood Station Volunteer Program

In Kirkwood, Mo., the historic depot is the heart of the bustling downtown, known for its shopping, dining and cultural attractions. A dedicated team of station host volunteers foster a spirit of hospitality by assisting Amtrak customers and visitors. Read more >>

North Carolina Train Host Association helping a traveler in the station.

North Carolina Train Host Association

The state of North Carolina partners with Amtrak to fund rail service on two routes. Volunteer train hosts assist passengers on board, while station hosts offer similar assistance at key stations. Read more >>

Want to Learn More?

If you’re interested in creating a station host volunteer program and exploring next steps, contact Fran Berk, communications manager – outreach.