RailCamp

Where else but at RailCamp can high school students replace a knuckle on a tank car, learn how to inspect a working steam locomotive in a real roundhouse or take a course in railroad operations and dispatching?

About RailCamp

The NRHS RailCamp is a unique program for high school students to learn about 21st Century operations and dispatching in the modern world of railroading and in the same week experience the historic role of early US railroads in the development and settlement of our country, learn how diesel, electric and steam locomotives function, how track is built and maintained, and how early freight and passengers cars were constructed. 

RailCamp is a program combining varied experiences where students learn both modern and historic elements of America’s vital transportation mode for over 150 years. High school students attend a week-long camp where they will participate in railroad operations, interact with railroaders and learn about preservation techniques, railroad history, career opportunities and get the opportunity to work with real railroad equipment. They will get “hands-on” with a state-of-the-art modern day railroad, take a course in railroad operations and dispatching and learn how to inspect a working steam locomotive on a real railroad. Where else can high school students learn how to inspect a working steam locomotive in a real roundhouse, get “hands-on” with a state-of-the-art modern day railroad, or take a course in railroad operations and dispatching? Every year, the NRHS sends lucky high school students to a week-long camp where they’ll participate in railroad operations, interact with railroaders and learn about preservation techniques, railroad history and career opportunities.

2015 Session Schedules

RailCamp East (Wilmington, Del.): July 5 - 11, 2015 RailCamp Northwest (Tacoma, Wash.): August 2 - August 9, 2015

About the Programs

RailCamp East - Newark, Del. - Longtime partner Amtrak will host campers at its High-Speed Rail Training Facility and National Operations Center in Wilmington, Del., where they will be exposed to the daily operation of the nation’s passenger railroad. Students will also spend two days in Strasburg, Pa. at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Strasburg Rail Road. Here they will learn by hands on experience various work of daily railroad operations. They will also learn about restoring steam locomotives and vintage passenger equipment. The railroad museum has an extensive display of railroad equipment and artifacts. They will also teach campers about the unique history and culture of Pennsylvania railroads and the influence they had on the growth of the United States and of our nation’s rail network. Lodging and meals will be provided at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del.

RailCamp Northwest - Tacoma, Wash. - This session will include a day with Amtrak at the newly renovated King Street Station in Seattle and its adjacent maintenance facility. Students will visit the operations center of Tacoma Municipal Belt Line (Tacoma Rail) and participate in a working intermodal operation. Other locations include the Northwest Railway Museum at Snoqualmie, Wash., and the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad at Mineral, Wash., where campers will help with preservation activities, physical plant maintenance and train operations. Time at Seattle’s Sound Transit facility will let them explore the operations of commuter trains and light rail transit. Lodging and meals will be provided at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.

Applying to RailCamp

The NRHS offers two summer RailCamp programs: one at Newark, Del. July 5-11 and a second in Tacoma, Wash. August 2-9. The program is open to high school boys and girls who are currently Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors (class of 2015). Individuals who enter their Freshmen year in 2015 will also be eligible to participate.

Cost for either camp is $1,290 per camper, including a non-refundable $50 fee when an application is submitted. Transportation arrangements and expenses are the responsibility of the camper. Scholarships are available but do not cover transportation. Applicants do not have to be members of the NRHS to attend.  

Application Forms can be downloaded from here or by USPS at: NRHS RailCamp P.O. Box 1481, Lockport, NY 14095.