West Somerset Railway
Sam Burton

Become a Volunteer

Volunteering your time to help the Railway - Preserving the Past for the Future

Individual enquiries and applications are always welcomed at any time.

Volunteers Age 18+:

Please contact us on Telephone 01823 433856 or email [email protected] 

Work Experience

The West Somerset Railway offers work experience placements that are designed to fit around the requirements of individuals ranging from Secondary School young people to University students preparing their Dissertations. There are a limited number of these per year on a first come first served basis. Please call 01643 704996.

Youth Volunteers (Trackers):

The West Somerset Railway can accept volunteers who are under the age of 18. The tracker scheme encourages boys and girls to take an active part in the operation of the railway by allowing them to work alongside adult volunteers. By doing this the trackers will hopefully gain valuable life skills which they can use in the future and include on their CV. This is done in a safe environment and in a structured and controlled way. To discuss becoming a Tracker please contact Catherine Hurd via email at  [email protected].

Lots of different skills are required.  As a prospective new volunteer you could experience supervised work training in any of the following disciplines. 

All new volunteers are required to undertake training and induction for the role they will undertake. This will be carried out by each department Please indicate your role preference when applying.

Please click on the discipline you are interested in to see further information.

At the bottom of this page current specific vacancies are listed.

Operations
Stations
Commercial
Infrastructure Engineering
Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon

The Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Department is under the control of the Head of Mechanical Engineering (HoMe) . Work within the department is split into several areas:

  • Steam footplate grades from locomotive cleaner up to driver.
  • Diesel locomotive grades second men and drivers.
  • Minehead - steam locomotive workshops, repair and overhaul of locomotives.
  • Minehead - carriage and wagon workshops, repair and overhaul of carriages and wagons.
  • Minehead - Diesel and Diesel multiple unit repair and overhaul.
  • Williton – Diesel locomotive repair and overhaul (This is managed by the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group).

There is a requirement to give a minimum of 12 turns annually, some areas may require a higher commitment. Physical and medical restrictions may apply.

General Information

Please click on the discipline that you are interested in to see more information.

There are around 400-500 active volunteers whose contribution help makes the West Somerset Railway 'tick'. Indeed, without their considerable input the West Somerset Railway would probably cease to tick! Volunteers are able to assist (subject to undertaking a training programme and passing a medical in some cases) in all aspects of the WSR, and their contribution is absolutely vital towards ensuring the success and future growth of the Railway. On any given day, the footplate crew, guard, ticket inspector, booking clerk, stationmaster, track worker, buffet car steward - and many, many more are likely to be volunteers.

To apply to become a volunteer complete the paperwork and post it to the Bishops Lydeard address.