Running a preserved railway is an interesting and varied task and now that the railway is operating service to Duffield we need your help. There are many roles to be performed!
Volunteering can be very rewarding. There is an opportunity to make a real difference to the community, have fun doing a new hobby and make many new friends. Not to mention the added bonus of helping to build up experience in many areas. In reverse, you may have the skills that we desire to help further the project and make a real difference.
How much time do I have to put in?
There is no set amount of time for volunteering, whether it be one day in three months or several days a week, everybody is welcome.
How much does it cost me to volunteer?
Joining our team requires membership to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association (EVRA). This membership will get you basic site working insurance, as well as quaterly magazines. This costs around £15 a year.
We hope that you choose to start your new hobby with us!
What sort of roles are there for me to perform?
Those who are feeling energetic, working on the Permanent Way (Track Gang) is a great way to keep yourself fit whilst also making a massive difference to our project. The track is in continuous need of maintenance with use. The Permanent Way Gang has many members who provide light-hearted humour to make the task interesting and enjoyable. It doesn't matter if you don't know anything about track - all are welcome!
Permanent Way work traditionally takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Booking Hall and Station Staff
Running passenger services require many station staff to be the face of the railway. The Booking Hall at Wirksworth is the place where tickets and products are sold and as a result can provide volunteers with an exciting day meeting members of the public who visit the railway. Once the passengers have passed through the Booking Hall, they leisurly make their way towards the departing trains. Members of the team help them on their way by opening doors and having general chatter about the railway. Volunteers are required to assist our Buffet Car Supervisor in serving food and managing the catering facilities.
We are continually looking for staff to perform these roles. We require staff at both Wirksworth and Duffield on operating days!
On Train Crew
Ever fancied becoming a passenger train driver or guard? The majoriy of passenger trains have a driver, guard and a Third Man. We are looking for people to join and progress into these roles. Upon joining the railway, you will start by being a Third Man. This involves travelling onboard services learning the route of the valley whilst opening the level crossing gates at Gorsey Bank and Idridgehay to allow the train to pass. Upon gaining the required aptitude, you may progress to learn to drive one of our heritage trains or become a Guard who is in charge of the train. The Guard plays an important role in managing train departures, events on board as well as talking to the general public.
We will increasingly be requiring volunteers for operating our steam locomotive. This requires you to have been a member of the railway for a short while before training to learn how railways operate.
Trains operate in accordance with the published timetable.
Maintenance and Restoration
This area is very important to ensure that we have correctly maintained and pleasant vehicles for the public to enjoy. Due to the age of the majority of our rolling stock many tasks are performed on a weekly basis, from mechanical servicing to internal woodwork. Of course, gaining the knowledge in this area is difficult unless you are already a skilled workman, but our friendly team will share their knowledge of the area to pass on the skills. Simply restoring a Diesel Railcar involves mechanical, electrical, carpentary, joinery, painting and many other interesting and unusual tasks.
Currently, vehicle maintenance and restoration is mostly performed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
How do I choose a role?
It is not always possible to know which role you wish to perform, especially if you have no prior railway knowledge. On your first day, the range of activities will be discussed and you will be offered the opportunity to try many of the tasks before deciding upon the one you enjoy the most. Many volunteers perform multiple roles - for example, you may maintain a vehicle one day and drive it the next.
What is the age range?
The railway can accept volunteers at the age of 15. At this age we try to prepare you for progressing to larger projects. The range of activities a young person can perform is limited due to health and safety reasons however, as they get older they can gradually gain more freedom making them very experienced members of our team by the time they reach 18!
There is currently no upper age limit to working on the railway. Working on the track or operating a vehicle requires a reasonable level of health.
How do I get started?
Please call us for a friendly chat. You will be put in touch with John Ball, our Volunteer Liaison Officer, to get you started.
Give us a call on 01629 823076 and speak to the team.