Program: RailCamp


NOTE: The dates for RailCamp 2024 will be posted later this year. An application form will be available January 1, 2024.

About RailCamp

RailCamp is an educational experience for high school students who have an interest in railroads and railroading. The program is designed to teach students about 21st century railroad operations, dispatching, and maintenance while providing a simultaneous experience in the early history of U.S. railroads in the development and settlement of our country. Students will learn both modern and historic elements of America’s most vital transportation mode, including how diesel, electric, and steam locomotives function, how track is built and maintained and how early freight and passenger cars were constructed.

With a focus on the ways in which revolutionary technical changes in modern railroading affect today’s business, students will attend a week-long camp where they will participate in railroad operations, interact with railroaders, learn about preservation techniques, experience railroad history, career opportunities, and work with real railroad equipment. Camp opportunities are offered in both Newark, DE and Tacoma, WA during the summer months.

RailCamp East has a heavy focus on Amtrak with visits to their training facilities, the Consolidated National Operations Center and a trip to Washington, DC with a tour of the entire Union Station complex. Days will be spent in Strasburg, PA with visits to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Strasburg Rail Road. RailCamp Northwest includes a trip to Seattle for a day with Amtrak and Sound Transit. Other activities include Tacoma Rail, Northwest Railway Museum and a trip to Portland to visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

Applying to RailCamp

The program is open to high school boys and girls who are currently freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors (class of 2024). Individuals who enter their freshman year in 2024 will also be eligible to participate.

The cost for attending either camp location in 2023 was $1,575.00. No camper has ever been turned away because of his/her ability to pay the tuition. Many NRHS chapters and other sponsors have provided scholarships and money is available from the RailCamp Fund. There is a financial assistance form included in the application. Transportation arrangements and expenses are the responsibility of the camper. Applicants do not have to be NRHS members to attend.