Becoming a volunteer on the Bluebell Railway
Why not join us on a Find out more day - now held monthly.
The successful running of the railway depends largely on the voluntary efforts
of the society's members in a wide variety of duties. Whether you are
female - an active senior citizen - found time on your hands through
- or a younger member, if you can attend regularly, now and then or just for
a week's holiday, a welcome awaits you.
You will meet plenty of new people and perhaps learn new skills and widen your
experience. Obviously some jobs are more popular than others, some you
walk straight into such as engine drivers, which can take some training. We
all started from scratch and the more you learn about, and work on, the
the more likely your chances of eventually finding your niche. Most
accept people from 16 years of age and our oldest working members are in
80's. Working members only can enjoy travel benefits on other selected
We need YOU to help us. By joining the Society, your subscription helps the
railway financially. You also have the opportunity to be a volunteer working
member in any of the many departments. Details on some of these departments
are shown below, including links to some departmental recruiting pages.
- CARRIAGE PRESENTATION - A thorough cleaning before or after the day's
running is supplemented by extra work during the day to keep the
good condition for the public.
- CARRIAGE AND WAGON - skills in
metalworking, carpentry, plumbing, wiring,
trimming, painting, varnishing and sign writing are among those deployed in
maintenance and restoration. While previous experience is useful but not
enthusiasm is vital.
- PERMANENT WAY - details of the 4 volunteer teams. Outdoor exercise on the track itself.
- BUFFET STEWARDS - The train buffets
and bars are well patronised by
the public, and assistance would be most welcome.
- MUSICIANS - Join the Bluebell Railway Band. Contact the EGCB/BRB directly, rather than the Bluebell team.
- CIVIL ENGINEERING - Bridge repairs, installation of drains
and reinforcement of embankments and cutting back of lineside growth are
some of the variety of important jobs we do. The work can be strenuous, but
will be adjusted to suit individual capabilities.
- FENCING - A gang meet on the third
Sunday in each month to repair and
rebuild fences, mostly along the lineside providing constructive outdoor
in all seasons.
- GUARDS - Training can be arranged, but volunteers without
are advised to spend some time on station duties to obtain necessary
knowledge before applying.
- LOCOMOTIVE RUNNING - New members
begin as cleaners with opportunities
for promotion to firemen and driver in due course.
- LOCOMOTIVE WORKS - fitters,
turners, painters, and general helpers are
required and training can be given. Assistance to the permanent staff would
be particularly useful. Apart from major and minor repairs, several
restoration projects are in progress. For the Maunsell
Locomotive Society: e-mail Peter
We also have a Locomotive Workshop working group set up by David Pratt and Stephen Lacey, which is a good way into working in the department.
- SHOP - The shop at Sheffield Park is popular with the public and
useful source of income for the railway. Counter staff are needed. Staff may
be requested to submit references.
- SIGNAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS - Electrical and mechanical work
equipment, and maintenance of the internal telephone system. Some experience
in any of those fields is desirable.
- SIGNALMEN - Full theoretical and practical training will be given, but
volunteers without previous experience are required to spend some time on
station duties to obtain necessary operating knowledge before applying.
- TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT - STATION STAFF - duties include greeting the
at the ticket barrier, answering the many questions they may have regarding
the railway, collecting supplementary fares on the observation car when
running. Platform duties include the prompt and safe departure of trains,
cleaning of the station towards the end of each day, and also during the
it is not busy. Opportunities for training in the booking office, and
signalman and guards are given subject to suitability.
More details are available for:
- TRAVELLING TICKET INSPECTORS - it is desirable to have a
TTI on all
trains, not only to check tickets, but to help our passengers with the many
questions they may have about the railway.
- OTHER VACANCIES - Vacancies also exist at all stations for
gardeners, general maintenance and handymen.
Join one of our "Find out More Days" for a tour behind the scenes, which will show the variety of roles for which we are looking for new volunteers across the various departments of the Railway, or to discuss what you might be interested in doing.
There are some basic requirements which must
be fulfilled before you become a volunteer, such as being a BRPS member, and drinking copious quantities of
tea (while on duty) or occasionally something stronger afterwards! Common
to all the engineering departments is the issue of safety.
For younger members (aged between 9 and 16)
The 9F Club provides an opportunity to
get involved with the railway.
For more information about membership, please see the Membership Details Webpage.
To get involved, please join us on a Find out more day - held monthly.
Join us on a Find out more day
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Last update 14 January 2018 by Richard Salmon.
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