The Watercress Line is seeking volunteers aged 18 and under, as part of its mission to encourage enthusiasm and love for heritage railway at an early age and secure even more young engineers for the future.
There is an array of exciting opportunities for volunteers to get involved with, including events, fundraising, signalling, driving trains, maintaining the station gardens and restoration projects, and more.
Jason Houlders, General Manager at the Watercress Line, said: “Our volunteers are the backbone of the Watercress Line. Without them, there would be no trains running, no coaches to sit in, no stations to wait at and no track to run on.
“Whether you have existing skills that you think you could bring to the Watercress Line or would simply like to do something different and meet new friends, there is a surprising variety of volunteer roles to get involved with.”
Joseph Stevens volunteered at the Watercress Line for five years between 2013-2018, first as a Ranger at Ropley Station and then as a Young Operator as part of the platform crew at Alresford Station.
“I most enjoyed the people I got to meet and the experiences I had,” he said. “I did so many things, from shovelling ash in Ropley Yard to dispatching trains at Alresford. I was lucky to be able to try my hand at signalling, shunting and guarding.
“Volunteering at the railway didn’t just teach me things about the running of railways, however. It helped me to learn about engineering, business and even maths. It also helped me to learn how to work as a team and massively improved my confidence.
“From a young age, I’ve always wanted to be a mechanical engineer, and five years at the railway gave me so much experience; it’s left me with a really good start in the industry.”
To register your interest to become a volunteer at the Watercress Line, please email Stewart Legg at [email protected].