Employment at the Garden

Engineer - Model Railroad Garden

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Visitor Events & Programs/Exhibitions
Reports to:
Chief Engineer
Volunteer Assistant Engineers
Perform daily operations and maintenance duties for the Model Railroad Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. This is a seasonal, part-time position, starting end of April/early May through August 2022.
There are six positions available to work various shifts Monday through Sunday.

Shift times are:
1st Shift = 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
2nd Shift = 12:15 – 4:15 p.m.
3rd Shift = 4 – 7:30 p.m.

June, July, August
1st Shift = 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
2nd Shift = 12:30 – 4:45 p.m.
3rd Shift = 4:30 – 8:30 pm.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Set up, operate, and take down trains for Model Railroad Garden exhibition.
  • Ensure exhibition buildings and props are in order each morning and throughout the day. Remove debris as necessary from tracks. Help keep footpaths and exhibition area clean.
  • Monitor exhibition during the day for any breakdowns or derailments throughout the shift, correct the derailment problem, and re-rail the rolling stock. Also, watch for any potential problems to report to the operating engineer.
  • Address electrical and mechanical problems as they arise whenever possible; communicate with operating or chief engineer about other problems or needed repairs. Assist with repairs or other projects as directed.
  • Direct the work of volunteer assistant engineers during assigned shift.
  • Attend periodic engineers’ meetings.
  • Assist with training new staff and volunteers as needed.
  • Assist with special Model Railroad Garden events as required.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.



Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Background knowledge and technical expertise to operate G-scale trains, track, and control panels.
  • Excellent people skills; the ability to work with the public and in a team environment to create a 5-Star visitor experience. Evening and weekend work may be required; flexible schedule helpful.

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*



Apply for Engineer - Model Railroad Garden - Seasonal using the link below:

Click to apply.


Physical Demands:
Must be able to bend, stoop, and lift approximately 15 pounds. Position requires standing and walking and some ladder climbing for much of the shift (shift is approximately five hours).
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.