Volunteering is integral to the operation of most preserved railways in the UK, and The Welsh Highland Railway in no exception. Whilst there is a core of permanent staff, the railway relies heavily on volunteer effort to help run and maintain the railway and its infrastructure.
That effort ranges from the obvious staff requirements such as the Loco crew, Guards and Buffet staff seen running the trains to the not so obvious such as those maintaining the track or keeping the gardens tidy. For every one of those these there are numerous other people helping in their own little way, such as your webmasters of this site sat in comfy armchairs at home promoting the Society. Whatever it is we can guarantee there's a job that YOU can help us with.
Let's look in more detail at some of the work the Volunteers do.
The Welsh Highland Railway's track was laid predominantly by Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri volunteers, and they also carry out much of the maintenance. They come from all walks of life and were helped by many people from outside the society such as groups of college students, railway managers, the army to name but a few. See the Track Work page for more details of how you can help here.
The Locos are driven and fired by people from all walks of life with all manner of skills. Some do actually work in the railway industry, but others could not be further away. The only common point is an interest in the WHR or railways in general. If you have that interest then try us and see how you get on.
Loco maintenance and restoration
Perhaps a bit of commonality here with the above group as a number of those who work the locos also like mending them. We see people with an engineering background and those who just like 'trains'. There's plenty to do with the restoration on an NG15 Class Loco currently in progress and the historic K1 to be kept running. If you know how a paintbrush works or how to operate a lathe then we have jobs for you.
Rolling stock maintenance
Anything that runs that needs maintenance and repair. From the everyday coaching stock to the wagon fleet, they all need to be kept in good order. In the case of the coaches the weekly checks are done by volunteers at Dinas. The annual checks and multi year refurbishments are generally done under the auspices of the permanent staff with help from volunteers. From painting to woodworking skills, again we hope you can help.
Do you fancy working with the public? Then perhaps working out on the trains is for you. Volunteer Guards and Buffet Staff are always needed These people are the public face of a railway which prides itself on its service to the paseengers, and they are key jobs in the operation of the railway. No experience is needed, full training is provided.
Still not seen anything? Then how about....
A good number of the stations on the Railway have gardens of some sort. All these need to be kept in good order, especially in the summer months. If you like the outdoors and seeing things grow then take a look at the Landscaping Group for more details.
Stations & Buildings
Or how about helping out maintaining our stations and building. Perhaps even helping construct a new station building. The stations are mainly looked after through the Society's Adopt a Station scheme, however, there's nothing to stop you joining one of the groups looking after a specific station. The tasks involved are the sort of thing you'd do about your own property and grounds. If you fancy something more constructive, but still want somewhere where you can watch trains come and go then there's program in place for the construction of station shelters and buildings. Woodworking, painting or just simply being able to wield a hammer and screwdriver is all that's needed.
On top of the above there are always jobs that can be done away from the Railway. Take the East Anglian Group, they have regular working parties at their base doing wagon work and making station signs to mention a few. If you're 'a loner' then there'll be small (or larger) jobs that can be done in the comfort of you own home or workshop as can be seen here with WHR preservation instigator and Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri founder member Cedric Lodge making a station sign.
So whatever it is, whatever your skills we can assure you there's a job here just waiting for you to do it. There's no point in waiting to see if someone else will do it, more than likely they won't - it needs you to do it for us. And don't forget we're a very sociable lot. There'll be a enormous welcome for you and there'll be plenty to do social wise once the railway has shut for the day.
Much more information is available in the Groups and Projects pages with details of who to contact and how are on the Society Contacts page.
There is also a downloadable file listing all the opportunities available to volunteer on the railway so print off your copy here:
Please get in touch and book some time with us.