Volunteer

The Mid-Norfolk Railway almost completely relies on volunteers to help operate and run the railway. There are lots of jobs you can get involved with at the railway, but first you need to be a member of the trust. Once you are a member, there are lots you can do:

Drivers, Second Man, Guards and Signallers

These are the people who run the trains. In order to become a driver, guard or signaller, a significant level of commitment is necessary due to the safety-critical nature of this work. These staff are normally promoted from the Level Crossing Keeper grade.

Crossing Keeper

Our railway has many level crossings, most of which have manually-operated gates. The crossing keepers open the gates to allow trains to pass. On a normal operating day, we need four Crossing Keepers, increasing to between six and eight dependent on Special Events and locomotive hauled trains. A one day’s training course is required to undertake this role, including your track safety certificate. This is an ideal place to start on the Operations side of the Railway.

Station Staff, Gift Shop and Museum

Dereham Station is the main focal point, with Station staff needed. Our Dereham ticket office is the main Booking Office for all our events and handles the majority of our passengers. It has a small Gift Shop and a small Museum Room which are usually also open on days we are running trains. Wymondham Abbey also has a small ticket office which is usually manned too.

Travelling Ticket Inspector

More at home on a moving train than the platform or trackside? Join our growing Travelling ticket inspector department! Being a ticket inspector for the Mid-Norfolk Railway puts you at the very front of our customer service.  Along with the guard, you will travel on the trains and assist the guard by checking tickets, offering tourism information, engage in conversation with customers and be part of the on-board team. Interested? E-mail joshua.quirk@mnr.org.uk for information and to start the beginning of a life-long relationship with the Mid-Norfolk Railway.

Special Events

We run many special events throughout the year, including Santa Specials, Diesel Galas, Jazz trains, Halloween trains and many many more. If you’re interested in helping with organising or running these events, then we’d love to hear from you. Our Special Events provide a great income to the charity to allow it to move forward with its aims.

Locomotive and Rolling Stock Maintenance

Our fleet of heritage diesel locomotives, railcars and carriages requires constant maintenance to ensure that everything runs reliably. We also restore locos, railcars and coaches from scrap condition to working order. This can be a very satisfying and rewarding job, bringing in skills such as carpentry and welding.

Permanent Way, Signal & Telegraph and Drains & Fencing

The permanent way team is in charge of maintaining the track itself, and works with the Signalling & Telegraph department to install and maintain signalling on the railway. The work is sometimes quite heavy and dirty, but is also highly rewarding. Also, the Drains & Fencing department maintain the lineside drains and fences, as well as keeping the vegetation at bay throughout the line.

Steam Crew

The MNR has a small team of in-house drivers and firemen available to work visiting locomotives. Established drivers and firemen are welcome to take MNR membership, but are asked to realise that they will be expected to assist other departments between duties and also to understand that the railway has a dual diesel and steam traction policy. Crewing of steam locomotives is at the discretion of the owners.

Skilled Work

We are always short of carriage body shop skills including panel welding. Other ongoing needs include builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other skilled workers. If you’d like to volunteer, then there will be jobs available in almost every department!

Gardening

There are gardens and flower pots at various places along the line, primarily at Dereham. The Railway is now developing at an amazing rate. Recently we won the Ian Allen Publishing Heritage Railway of the Year Award 2013 and this means so much to the volunteers. We are determined to continue to move forward and be the best, and we are proud to do things a bit different sometimes too. And we want you to be part of that vision.

Get In Touch!

If you are interested in becoming a member, collect a membership form from Dereham Station. To become volunteers, please get in touch with our Volunteer Co-Ordinators. You can e-mail them on volunteer@mnr.org.uk, or alternatively come along to Dereham station, and tell us you want to get involved. We will then point you in the right direction.

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