The Rocky Mountain Rail Society was registered in Alberta in 1984 as a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the preservation and operation of Canadian National Railway steam locomotive 6060, “The Spirit of Alberta”. Membership consists of about 175 current and retired railway operating personnel, as well as steam and rail fans all concerned with the preservation of this important and unique Canadian heritage locomotive and newly certified provincial historical resource.
It is the aim of the society to ensure that Canada’s largest working steam locomotive remains in full and complete operating condition for the enjoyment of the citizens of Alberta and all people with an interest in steam. As custodians of this beautiful steam locomotive, the members of the Rocky Mountain Rail Society are dedicated to providing opportunities for all steam fans to enjoy seeing 6060 at work. In 2012, 6060 will be pulling a minimum of 12 steam trips at Stettler, Alberta, Canada with Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions.
The founding member of the Rocky Mountain Rail Society is retired CNR engineer Harry R.J. Home, member of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and one of the CNR’s last steam-qualified engineers. Harry has over 50 years experience in engine service and counting. Harry was behind the initial movement to save 6060 from the scrapper’s torch, served as her custodian when she arrived in Jasper in 1962, and then as her engineer in her post-retirement restoration. Now 75+, he works diligently as our Chief Mechanical Officer (CMO). His devotion to 6060 and professionalism in his craft continues to remind RMRS members of the importance of keeping this locomotive in top operating condition.
Today there are about 20 volunteers active in maintenance, operations and fund-raising. The work scheduler ShiftPlanning is the latest tool in helping them optimize and manage our human resources in this worthwhile task. Our scheduling challenges are many. Our active volunteers come from all walks of life from all over Alberta and the neighbouring province, Saskatchewan. All are busy in their own lives and getting them to contribute available time to maintenance and operation on 6060 in Stettler (in east central Alberta) is challenging for our Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteers with specific skills are required at specific times so coordinating this is important to have the right numbers of the right skills at the right place at the right time. The work scheduler is expected to help manage the logistics of housing & feeding volunteer crews.
n addition since our funding relies heavily on matching grants with volunteer hours, accounting for these hours is critical. Some of our operating volunteers are also involved with government certification programs for boiler operation and train crews. These programs have certification hours requirements which need to be tracked because of the work scheduler features in accounting, scheduling in multiple locations and being web-based, it is expected that these tasks will be much easier to perform.
Church & Volunteer
RMRS has tried to use paper self-reporting to document our volunteer hours and project scheduling but this requires a large amount of due-diligence on the individual volunteer’s part. Reporting is manual and arduous. Our volunteer log book was at the Society’s bunkhouse in Stettler but since most volunteers live in other towns, forgetting to complete their volunteer log before returning home was common.
The work scheduler will allow us to move from paper to the web. With the work scheduler our volunteer coordinator can schedule volunteers from all over the province (and neighbouring provinces) while allowing the volunteers themselves to adjust shifts and dates within the projects in which they are participating. This makes the scheduling work of the volunteer coordinator more effective.
Questions have been answered promptly. – Mark McNair – Director, IT – Rocky Mountain Rail Society
Interaction with the ShiftPlanning team so far has been limited but those interactions have been positive. We look forward to working with the team in optimizing the product features for our use. In addition to web-based scheduling, we are looking forward to the messaging, SMS and email notifications, file sharing and reporting.
We invite those interested in 6060 & RMRS to go to our website for more information on the Society, membership and operating schedules. Come & ride with us this season!
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