The Weardale Railway is mainly run by volunteers whose contribution is essential to the running of the railway and its long term future. You can be part of this by becoming a working member in one of our many departments. Generally you do not need specific experience as training will be provided in your chosen area.


Volunteers are always in demand whether helping operations as driver, guard, crossing keeper, etc, station duties in the shop, cafe, ticket office, or behind the scenes maintaining and refurbishing rolling stock and track. All volunteers need the protection of training and the Trust's Insurance, therefore it is in everyone's interest that:

All volunteers must first become members of the Trust 

So how can I help?

Upon receipt of the completed Trust application form and payment, new members are invited to list  their areas of interest, any relevant skills and an indication of the time available to the Volunteer Coordinator via an email to  who will then put them in touch with the relevant team leader. 

We always have regular duties and also  one-off projects that we need help with, so whether you are working, retired, at home, studying or maybe looking to develop your career or skills, volunteering with Weardale Railway is a fantastic way to spend your time. Listed below are some of the main areas where volunteers are needed.



The Number 40 Café and Gift Shop Staff

The Gift Shop at Stanhope is always busy selling anything from postcards to books to children’s railway toys whilst the Cafe is very well patronised. A significant part of the railway’s income comes from these areas. Working in the cafe will involve washing up and serving customers.

The depot at Wolsingham is where the Trust maintains and restores the coaches and locomotives. For coach restoration skills in carpentry, metalworking, upholstery, plumbing, varnishing, painting, sign writing, trimming, wiring would all be of use but not essential as training is provided. For locomotive maintenance, engineering experience is a distinct asset but painters and general helpers are every bit as much in demands as fitters, turners etcThe work covers steam and diesel traction

Maintenance Depot

If you have green fingers you would be welcome to help look after Stanhope, Frosterley,Wolsinghamand Witton le Wear  stations.


This role requires a period of training before being assessed to be a fully qualified Guard. The Guard, contrary to popular belief, is in charge of the train. The Driver thinks he is, but the Guard knows better!

Train Guard

 Travelling Ticket Inspectors

Sell the tickets, answer the enquiries and generally meet the public. This role is very much the first point of contact for our customers when they travel with us. A good knowledge of the local area is essential.

Locomotive Drivers

Newcomers to the steam department will begin as Cleaners and progress to become Fireman and Drivers. To operate our diesels, you will progress through being a Traction Trainee, Second Man and finally Driver. This can take considerable time dependant on your availability, your own competence and turns available. We are required to follow the policies of Weardale Railway CIC Head of Operations.


Permanent Way

Out and about on the track itself. Fencing, ballasting, walking the line, checking the track, cutting back lineside growth, are all vital jobs. The work can be fairly strenuous but will be tailored to suit your specific requirements.


We currently have operated level crossings at Broadwood and Witton le Wear where the keeper operates the warning lights and barriers keeping trains and road traffic safe. An ideal role for those that like working outside. This is an ideal role for a beginning volunteer to develop railway operating knowledge and decide which other  area of the railways operations are of interest.

Crossing Keeper

Promotion and Marketing

If you can help in this area you would be especially welcome. The railway is busy in the peak holiday months but is always seeking ways to fill seats ‘out of season’. We are also looking to increase our exposure to the corporate market and the travel trade.


Station Platform  Staff

Duties consist of overseeing the safe and punctual departure of trains, answering queries from the passengers, and generally ensuring their safety. Some assistance is always useful to assist wheelchair bound passengers on and off the train and to escort them safely across the railway. Helping to keep the station tidy and assisting with special events are also important parts of the Station staffs' duties.

Vacancies exist for handymen, painters, etc. to do the general upkeep necessary to keep our stations looking neat and tidy.

Other Vacancies

And the benefits…

Great company, a friendly working environment, free travel on the railway and a quarterly newsletter. Interested? Please don't let a perceived lack of skill deter you. Full on the job training is given as necessary. But the main thing is to come and enjoy yourself! In short, if you have the time and enthusiasm we can make use of you!  Remember, potential volunteers must first become members of the Weardale Railway Trust for insurance purposes. If you have any queries please contact the Trust at and you will be in put in touch with the appropriate person