Volunteering with Us

If you have visited the North Norfolk Railway before, you are sure to have seen some of our fantastic volunteers – the Driver, the Fireman, the Guard, the Signalmen, the Booking Office Clerk just to list but a few. In fact you could get involved with any aspect of the North Norfolk Railway.

Our volunteers get involved for a multitude of reasons, some are enthusiasts who wish to preserve Railway heritage, some are looking to fill their spare time, some to keep active, while others are looking to learn new skills.

When you volunteer on the North Norfolk Railway you are sure have fun whilst meeting new friends and making a big difference, whatever your age. Some of our volunteers come through our Youth Development Club, some work full time, some have retired, while others take their holidays working on the railway.

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Volunteers can help with the following:

Work in our Registered Museum either assisting to catalogue the many artefacts from East Anglian railway history or in the front line helping to show people around and answering their historical queries.

Work behind the scenes in the station office, answering telephone enquiries, taking bookings, sorting out the staff rosters, assisting the booking clerk, covering the shop at lunch time. The unsung heroes and heroines of the railway. It wouldn’t be able to operate without them!

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 is fairly strenuous but can be tailored to suit your specific requirements.

Looks after the installation and maintenance of our signalling equipment and telephone systems.

Training is necessary and some previous experience about the railway is desirable, but not essential.

Platform 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. Manning the ticket barriers and helping to keep the station tidy also forms a part of the Station staffs’ duties.

Sell the tickets, answer the enquiries and generally meet the public. There are vacancies at all three of our stations, Holt, Weybourne and Sheringham. A vital job!

Our buffet car runs at various times throughout the year providing alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, sandwiches etc. A chance to meet the public and ride the rails!

These are required for Weybourne and Holt, where the job is combined, and for Sheringham. The Shop at Sheringham is always busy selling anything from postcards to books to children’s railway toys whilst the Buffet is well patronised.

This area maintains and restores our coaches and vans. Skills in carpentry, metalworking, upholstery, plumbing, varnishing, painting, sign writing, trimming, wiring would all be of use.

Although this is normally done by an outside contractor on a daily basis this work is supplemented during the day to keep the carriages clean for the travelling public.

Our dining trains are now operating at more frequent intervals and are always in need of new volunteers, jobs range from waiting on tables right through to the skilled usage of a tea-towel! Our on board stewards are there to ensure dining passengers recieve hospitality to the highest degree and trains range from Evening Dining services, The North Norfolkman, Sunday lunch services as well as chartered trains.

We are regularly complimented on the excellent manner in which our gardens are kept. If you have green fingers you would be welcome to assist the resident gardeners at Weybourne and Sheringham or, if you feel up to a challenge, you could try Holt.

This will require some training. Typically you will spend a period as a TTI checking the tickets, helping to answer passengers questions etc. whilst training to be a Guard. The Guard, contrary to popular belief, is in charge of the train. The Driver thinks he is, but the Guard knows better! Some volunteers, who have no desire to be a Guard, remain as TTI’s and provide a very valuable service. Without money the railway doesn’t run!

Engineering experience is a distinct asset but painters and general helpers are every bit as much in demands as fitters, turners etc. Our permanent staff would welcome your support in this area. The work covers steam and diesel traction.

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 Diesel Cleaner, Second Man and finally Driver.

We have a large model railway covering 300 square feet at Holt. We are always on the lookout for responsible volunteers to run this exhibit and to answer queries from the onlookers.

What skills do I need to have?

One of the things that you will notice when you join us, is that volunteers on the Railway have such a wide and varied skill set. If you choose to take on a role that requires specific knowledge or skills, you will be given the necessary training required.

A willingness to smile and to help others do the same are the only essential qualifications!

How much time do I need to give?

We understand that everybody’s availability differs, some people volunteer almost full time while others travel long distances to volunteer a couple of times a year. While we don’t expect you to be here full time, you may just have so much fun that you want be here with everyone as much as possible!

What’s in it for me?

The North Norfolk Railway is a big community of interesting, knowledgeable, friendly people who come from all manner of walks of life and as a volunteer you will be at the centre of this community. You will make lots of new friends, have the opportunity to learn new and develop existing skills, be part of a team as well as feel part of the wider organisation.

You can enjoy travel benefits on the NNR as well as other preservation Railways. You will receive a monthly newsletter keeping you abreast of all the latest news and information, discounts from our catering and retail outlets. Volunteer accommodation is also available for those whom travel to join us.

What’s the next step?

  • Drop us an e-mail at enquiries@nnrailway.co.uk
  • Ring the Office on 01263 820800, or call in at Sheringham Station for full details.

Youth Development Club

The Railway is mainly run by volunteers from all walks of life and age groups, including those in our Youth Development Club who have an active role in helping us maintain the line for the future. Over the years many club members have continued to volunteer beyond their teens and gone on to have careers on the mainline railways, with many adult helpers also joining the volunteer ranks in other activities on the railway.

YDC INFORMATION PACK

At the North Norfolk Railway Youth Development Club our main objective is to get young people involved in the activities that keep a busy heritage railway going. We aim to provide young people with an interest in railways to get “hands on” developing new skills and making friends with like minded people.

Members of the Youth Development Club get involved in working in as many areas of the railways as possible, with a focus being made on Health and Safety.

Regular activities include:

  • Locomotive Cleaning – Hands on and up close with the Locos in the Shed, helping to keep them looking spick and span.
  • Vegetation Clearing – Working line side as the trains steam past clearing the cuttings and embankments, this is where your trackside safety is vital!
  • Trackside Maintenance – Assisting with the maintenance around the railway as required.
  • Weybourne Model Railway – Running the model railway that is housed in a wagon at Weybourne Station teach our youngsters the art of running a Railway.
  • Loco Driving – The highlight of the calendar is the opportunity to be on the footplate and in control , or as the fireman shovelling the coal into the firebox. Full Steam Ahead!!

The club focuses on young people aged between 10 to 16 years old.

The club is part of North Norfolk Railway Volunteers and has team that will guide new members through the membership process. The team are always on hand to answer any questions or queries.

The club holds meetings on the 3rd Saturday of every month, and also gets involved in other activities and events on North Norfolk Railway throughout the year. The club makes use of Email and messaging Apps to organise its events.

Meeting days are busy with activities and work around the railway. The team usually meet at Holt Station, before travelling by train to the activity sites. A pack lunch and drink is required for the day as you may be on an embankment or in the worksheds. At the end of the day the group returns to Holt where we finish with a well deserved cuppa and to write our workbooks for the day.

All members of the club are required to have Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). This includes overalls, workboots, bump cap and gloves etc. Full details on what is required is provided by the North Norfolk Railway Youth Development Club Team once you have applied to join the Club.

To join the North Norfolk Railway Youth Development Club please email the team directly at nnrydc@gmail.com. (Please note that the team will only respond to enquiries from adults).

All potential members are invited to visit the Club and see what we do before completing any application forms. Once you have met us the team will then email you the application forms. The club has an annual membership donation to help cover the cost of running the Club. This membership donation also includes an Apprentice Membership to the Friends of Black Prince.

Once your application is completed the young person will be provided with a Membership pack that includes:

  • A Workbook
  • Membership Card
  • Name Badge
  • Sew on Club Badge for their new overalls
  • Access to the chat groups to keep in touch

We look forward to hearing from you.

There are also plenty of opportunities for young volunteers to help outside of the monthly club meetings, where individual members can get involved in many tasks. For more details on how to join, please e-mail: nnrydc@gmail.com

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