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 Geoff Lowe/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.

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. 

Advertised Vacancies


Investigate Somerset Archive (and beyond - funded trips to Kew, Wiltshire etc) to gain copies of bridge drawings and any other relevant infrastructure information - initial priority is over-bridge drawings (where the railway goes over something). This is an important role to help restore the Railway's technical drawing archive. 


Track Inspection - we are undertaking a rigorous inspection of the permanent way over the next few weeks. This will include a chain-by-chain survey and rail measurement. We are looking for staff to assist - it's light work but it will involve walking a number of miles and will require PTS. 


Fishplate and Flange Gang- dedicated team to change fishplates, oil plates and maintain flange oilers. This is a new team we would like to establish that will meet on a weekly basis. We are looking for a person to lead it, and staff to carry out the work. It is physical job which will require PTS as well as Rule P training and method training for those leading the group. It is likely to be a weekly team, but the working day is not yet determined until we have volunteers come forward (it will not be a Sunday since this clashes with the PW Volunteer gang). You do not necessarily need previous experience in Permanent Way work, but an interest in track engineering is helpful.

Williton Stationmaster Vacancy

The West Somerset Railway is seeking applications for the volunteer post of Williton Station Master. As one of Britain’s leading Heritage Railway’s the position will put the successful candidate at the forefront of customer care.

The Station Master is responsible for the functioning of the Station, ensuring the Station is clean and tidy and presents a positive image of the railway to visitors and managing the station staff working there. The post also includes liaison between other station master and friends of groups.

To apply, please write enclosing CV and details of relevant experience to:-

Paul Conibeare

West Somerset Railway plc
The Railway Station
TA24 5BG

or email : [email protected]

Safety Officer

We are seeking a Safety Officer to lead on and champion safety within West Somerset Railway.

Reporting to the General Manager, you will work closely with the senior management team to assist and support the introduction and maintenance of safety information and systems. You will have a functional link to the Corporate Safety Adviser.

This is a key role and the job holder will ensure currency of the company Safety Management System, inspect all aspects of the Railway for safety procedure compliance and carry out training of both paid and volunteer staff.

Applicants should be suitably qualified and experienced with NEBOSH or IBOSH certification. You should be competent in managing, working and teaching safety, ideally with a recognised teaching or training qualification. You will be an effective communicator with good written and verbal skills to present clear `safety messages`.

You will possess good interpersonal and team skills to effectively engage with senior managers and staff; co-ordinate the work of safety assistants within Departments; and motivate volunteers.  

This is a voluntary part-time post requiring a willingness to travel and to work occasional unsocial hours. Applicants should possess a full UK driving licence, will need to obtain PTS certification and within a year of appointment pass the Company Rules examination with renewal every 3 years.   

For further information including an application form visit [email protected].  Completed application forms should be sent to the HR Department at WSR the Railway Station, Minehead TA24 5BG, under confidential cover by no later than 28 July. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.   

HR Department

West Somerset Railway
The Railway Station
TA24 5BG

or email : [email protected]