Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers play an important role in the successful completion of our mission. There is a variety of opportunities at the New York Central System Historical Society Archives and in some of the many important activities the Society is engaged in to provide service and information to our members and the public .


Some activities are available for those who enjoy working in an ongoing project from their home while others are for those who appreciate a monthly scheduled project.. Below is a list of available volunteer opportunities for the New York Central System Historical Society. The activities listed are general and not a comprehensive directory of everything that we have to offer. Specific opportunities requiring immediate support are listed as well. Please contact us at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org for current opportunities or if you would like to share a special skill with the Society.

Grant Writer

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Nonprofit grant writers prepare grant proposals, beginning by performing research. To develop their proposals, grant writers familiarize themselves with an organization’s programs, goals and financial needs. They also look into potential funding sources. After compiling all the information they need, grant writers compose and send their proposals.

Grant writers must also keep careful records to track their proposals. If a grant-making organization requests additional information, nonprofit grant writers supply the missing items. In some nonprofits, grant writers have additional duties, which may include managing volunteers, working with an executive board, planning fund-raising campaigns and promoting the organization through public relations work.

Qualified candidates should possess excellent writing and computer skills (Microsoft Office Word, Powerpoint and Excel). The candidate must be highly organized with the ability to implement systems and follow-up processes, able to effectively work under pressure, use independent judgment and produce a quality work product within tight time constraints. Previous experience will demonstrate a proven track record in securing new funding opportunities; comprehensive knowledge of research, and the ability to distinguish and identify funding opportunities for special programs. But if you don’t have previous experience but are willing to learn we are interested too.
We really need someone to begin to do this for us.  There is plenty of grant money out there, we just need someone who loves the NYCS and is willing to help us with this important task.

Deputy Archivist

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If you live in the Cleveland area, the NYCSHS needs some help as we continue to improve critical functions in our new headquarters building in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

We are looking for someone with archival experience to serve as a deputy archivist. If you have experience and leadership skills, get in touch with us.

The archive has been set up for storage and production, but needs someone who can assist the archivist in continuing to develop this important resource for the Society.

If you are interested, contact us at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org or 703-407-305


Graphic Artist


We need a person who can provide computer graphic support to several activities within the Society.  Currently, we have one person who is very well qualified, but has a very full work schedule and is only able to provide periodic support.

The ideal person would have the ability to provide graphic support to the Archive activities, the Central Headlight, NYCentral Modeler, NYCSHS website, “Collinwood Shop”, and other activities as required.

All of this work could be done from home, with direction from the business manager.  The requirement is for someone with knowledge and experience with any of the commercial graphic software, such as Adobe Illustrator, Coral Draw, Photoshop, etc and the ability to create original drawings and graphics.

Duties would include but not limited to:

  • Advise clients on strategies to reach a particular audience
  • Determine the message the design should portray
  • Create images that identify a product or convey a message
  • Develop graphics for product illustrations, logos, and websites
  • Select colors, images, text style, and layout
  • Work closely with the Business Manager, Membership Chair, editors of Central Headlight and NYCentral Modeler to develop needed graphics for production

If you are interested, please contact us at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org

Archive Support



NYCSHS Archive Volunteers: We currently have a crew of eight volunteers who support the activities for the archive.  Most work from home and interface via the internet, mail and phone for the activities they support. We are seeking help to access, create, scan, and record material.  We are also looking for individuals with strong computer skills to include database management, data storage and back up, computer security, and image management. We also need subject matter experts with strong knowledge and experience with the New York Central System roads.

If you are interested, please contact us at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org

Treasurer Support


Assistant to the NYCSHS Treasurer: We currently have a very well qualified Treasurer but could use someone to provide back-up for that position.  We need a person with some of the following skills and knowledge of financial administration, financial management, fundraising, and knowledge of the Quick Books financial management software. This can be a learning position as all of this knowledge and skill can be acquired while being trained.

If you are interested, please contact us at treasurer@nycshs.org

NYCentral Modeler Magazine Support


Associate Editor: The editor of the NYCentral Modeler is responsible for most of the activities involved in producing and publishing the magazine.  This is done on a three-month cycle and results in an outstanding publication on line.  There is a need to have someone learn all of these actions and then take responsibility for some of them under the direction of the Editor.  After the Senior Editor comes up to speed on all of the actions he will be prepared to back up the Editor for all functions.  All of this can be done from anywhere.  The Senior must be very computer literate and be proficient in MS Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and Photoshop or be willing to learn them. Editing skills are a plus.

If you are interested, please contact us at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org

Writers: We encourage articles and photos submitted for publication. Materials submitted are considered to be gratis and no reimbursement will be made to the author(s) or the
photographer(s) or his/her representative(s). The Society reserves the right to reject, for any reason, any material submitted. We need articles for scales in addition to HO. We have published articles in Z, S, N, HO, O, 1/29-, and 1/32- scales. We do need articles in all scales but could use more non-HO articles.

We have a style guide to be used for articles and will send it to any aspiring author. Photos should be submitted at not less than 640 x 480 pixels and in JPG, TIFF or PDF format.

If you are interested in submitting articles, please contact the editor at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org

Central Headlight Support


Associate Editor:  Central Headlight occasionally publishes career biographies of former New York Central System employees. We are looking for a volunteer with general knowledge of railroad practices, excellent interviewing skills, ability to travel, a firm command of English, MS Word fluency, and the ability to meet deadlines. This person, to be named an associate editor, would be responsible for providing career biographies as assigned.

Authors:  We are always looking for well written and carefully researched submissions relating to the operation, facilities, or equipment of the New York Central System.  Submitted text becomes the property of the NYCSHS, but photographs, if requested, will be returned after publication.

For further information regarding any of the above opportunities, please contact the editor at stoving@pdt.net.

NYCSHS Trainshow Volunteers


We need members to set up and work booths at trainshows to enroll new members in the NYCSHS.  We have a complete kit of materials to set up a table and display at the shows.  All materials are provided and entrance and table fees are paid for by the Society.  We provide you with the instructions on how to set up a table and display and how to approach attendees at these shows.  This is a chance to find new members to help continue to grow the Society.

For further information contact the membership chair at dtmackay@nycshs.org

NYCSHS Annual Convention Support

Convention Volunteers: Each year the NYCSHS holds a convention in one of the cities that were served by the NYCS.  We need volunteers to support the Convention Chair in a variety of roles.  Check the website under the “Conventions” tab to see where they are planned to be held. If you would be interested in taking a role in helping plan or work at the convention, please contact us at nfwiddifield@nycshs.org

If you are willing to volunteer for any of these very important position, please send an email to NYCSHS@verizon.net or call Noel Widdifield at 703-407-3059 who will explain all of the details of what is involved.


2 Responses to Volunteer Opportunities

  1. Larry Kettled says:

    Maybe the wrong area. Your mystery photo is of a horse transport car. Many horses to and from Chicago went through Niles. My grandfather on one of my many trips took me forward to see as he said a very famous race horse. Who would know later I would breed and race thoroughbreds

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