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Volunteer Recruitment

Join Us flier

Becoming a volunteer on our Railway is a great opportunity to help keep one of Gloucestershire's foremost visitor attractions running - and it is fun too! Uniquely for a Heritage Railway of our size we rely almost exclusively on volunteers to keep it operational. The professionalism which our volunteers bring to the Role they are undertaking for us is always appreciated by our visitors.

Volunteering at the GWSR is very popular and enjoyable and so following the Recruitment Fair in April we are for the time being only recruiting for the following volunteer roles: -

  Railway Catering

  Carriage & Wagon Cleaning Team (Mondays)

  Carriage & Wagon Maintenance Team (Friday)

  Events Department

  Retail  - 2 volunteers required for this department

                                     Toddington Station Team (Friday or Monday)


We are also looking for potential volunteers who have the following verifiable skills: -

Building Trade


Qualified Electrician.  2 required, one across the Railway and the second for Carriage and Wagon Department.  

Volunteers with current Health and Safety qualifications and experience required. These posts will be working with Heads of Department on Safety Management.


Please ask, via “Contact Us” and “Volunteer enquiry” about Signalman vacancies but note you are unlikely to start any volunteering before 2018 and signalman training before 2019. (If you have verifiable traditional signalling skills please tell us about your experience.)

Our Steam dept. cannot currently accept new volunteers unless they have railway experience or they have engineering skills to offer.


Elsewhere on our Railway we either have enough volunteers for now or our capacity to train new volunteers for the job we are asking them to do is full. If you would like to join the Railway in a department not listed above, please consider joining the Carriage Cleaning Team, Events Department or the Toddington Station Team. When other vacancies become available priority will be given to recruits who choose to take this route to get involved with us, but don’t expect any significant change before the end of 2017.

For all other volunteering opportunities please keep a watch on the departmental summary below as this will be updated as vacancies occur.


To volunteer on our Railway, you must be a Member of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust. If you are not already a Member please apply to join by completing the form found at the rear of the Join Us booklet, found by clicking on the picture above or by joining on line here.  You will not be able to attend our volunteer Induction, and therefore volunteer, until you are a Member.


From time to time, for whatever reason, a volunteer recruit finds that volunteering with us is not for them after they have been along a few times. In these circumstances we will happily refund membership fees if requested provided a Full Work Permit has not been issued and the Trust Membership Card is returned with the free travel voucher intact (not used).


Our 'Join Us' booklet gives you full information on Membership and an overview of Volunteering. You can download it by clicking on the picture and you will find a member application at the rear. A volunteer application can be found here




To maintain our current operation and because of our plans to expand our Railway to Broadway we continually need new recruits to join us as a volunteer. So what are we looking for? You have to be 16 or over (some volunteer roles may have restrictions), be enthusiastic in what you do, be prepared to be committed to volunteering with us and have a willingness to learn new skills.


If you like meeting new people and making new friends that's a great advantage. Some of the Roles undertaken by our volunteers require a level of fitness and mobility as our locomotives and carriages are heritage vehicles which at their youngest were built in the early 1960s! You also need to be able to understand and follow rules given to you, for your own safety and the safety of others.


Oh, by the way, if you are 12 but not yet 16 our Youth Group is what you want. Details are here


To see some of our volunteers talking about their roles please click here. To read case studies click here.



Our Departmental pages, reached by following the links below, provide a further insight into what is involved if you become a volunteer. If you see something that interests you, then get in touch by following the links on each page for further details. However please be aware that not all of our departments are currently recruiting, and others need new volunteers who have verifiable skills that can be put to use on the Railway.


Administration - working in our office handling phone calls, post and e-mails or helping with Accounting or our IT systems (Currently fully staffed).


The Broadway Team (rebuilding the Station) can no longer accept general volunteers but need experienced bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters.


Buildings and other structures keeping on top of our maintenance. They need experienced bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, but otherwise are fully staffed.


Carriage and Wagon restoration and maintenance. The Department can accept new volunteers but particularly need help with the Monday carriage cleaning team and the running repair maintenance team who currently operate on Fridays. An experienced carpenter would be a great asset to this Team. In all other respects this department operates Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Saturday.


Our Cheltenham Race Course team maintaining the station need painters and people with good DIY skills. Unfortunately, gardeners are not required at present. The team meet on a Saturday morning and Monday afternoons.


Commercial and Marketing - organising special events, advertising or marketing the Railway, or Press Relations. Volunteers with experience of organising large events are needed, but to get involved in this department you need to join as a volunteer in another department first.


Diesel operation restoration and maintenance of our fleet of main line diesel locomotives (Currently fully staffed except the Diesel Railcar Group) are looking for volunteers with suitable skills.


Fire Department and first aid - being prepared to help if things go wrong. This specialist team are looking for new members who have experience in firefighting or first aid provision. Training is available for suitable candidates.


Line-side Clearance keeping vegetation under control. Volunteers required for this outdoor activity which normally takes place on a Saturday.


Lineside Drainage maintaining land drainage and culverts. Fully staffed at present.


Meet and Greet welcoming our booked parties making sure they know what to do and help to see they enjoy their visit. (Currently fully staffed).


Railway Catering Services - working in our "on train Buffets" or the "Coffeepot Café" at Winchcombe. *


Shop Staff - at Toddington or Cheltenham Race Course retail experience an advantage but not essential. *


Signalling Systems - installation and maintenance (Currently fully staffed).


Signalman - you will need to gain experience and a Full Work Permit elsewhere on the Railway before submitting your application for this important safety critical job. With our current waiting list training is unlikely to start before 2018 unless you have verifiable skills and experience on the mainline or a heritage railway of similar size.


Station Staff starting as a Booking Office Clerk or Station Assistant - working at our three stations. Suitable candidates may get the chance to become a Station Master. *


Track installation and maintenance including the Broadway extension. Wednesday and Saturday are the days these teams are usually at the Railway; other days occasionally being worked as required.


Steam restoration and maintenance. You need to join the department in this role and show your commitment before being eligible for selection for training as a 'cleaner' and maybe onward progression to the footplate. Working days Wednesday and Saturday; footplate crew in at other times when the Railway is operational.


The Toddington Station Team maintain the station and all of the gardens; we normally meet each Monday and Friday from approx. 10.00am.


Travelling Ticket Inspector - A safety orientated Role working with the Guard, helping to prepare the carriages, inspecting tickets and welcoming our passengers. Suitable candidates may get the chance to become a Guard. *


Our Winchcombe Station Team need volunteers with a commitment to maintain this station and its environment. No skills needed. They normally meet on a Friday.


If you have skills and qualifications that are relevant for the Roles you see described on these pages, please tell us so we can discuss with you how they can be used to our mutual advantage.


* Recruits wanting to take on these volunteer roles need to be aware that after August they may be asked to wait to commence training which could be March the following year, the start of the next Operational Season.


How do I join as a Volunteer?

Firstly, please be aware that:


  • as a volunteer you will effectively be working for Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc and that all administration work in respect of your application will be carried out by the plc's Recruitment Officer.
  • all appointments to a volunteer management role are done through advertising the vacant position internally to existing volunteers and appointing a suitable applicant following interview.

If you would like to volunteer, please submit the Volunteer Application Form you can download here indicating either:

  • the Department or Volunteer Role you would like to be considered for


  • requesting a meeting with our Recruitment Team

If you have a clear idea of the Volunteer Role you would like to pursue your application will, on receipt, be passed to the relevant Department who may ask you to meet them. Alternatively, they will indicate to the Recruitment Officer they are happy to accept you.


If you do not know what Volunteer Role you would like to fulfil, or your selected department cannot accept you, you will be asked to meet representatives of our Recruitment Team who will spend time with you, informally talking to you about and showing you the Volunteer Roles currently available. At the end of this session we hope you will have enough information to enable you to tell us what Volunteer Role you would like to do, so that we can pass your details to your selected Department for acceptance as above. Note you may also be invited to a separate meeting with a representative of the chosen Department.


Once your chosen Department have accepted you, you will be asked to attend a Volunteer Induction following which you will receive an introductory 3-month Temporary Work Permit to allow your volunteering to get underway.

Your first three months will be by way of an Induction Period at the end of which you will normally receive a Full Permit renewable annually on the anniversary date of your Trust Membership. (Exceptions apply to the issue of all work permits if training and qualification for the Volunteer Role (e.g. Travelling Ticket Inspector and Booking Office Clerk), are applicable).


You will be told what opportunities are available to meet the Recruitment Team when we receive your volunteer application form. Typically, these events run on the first Saturday and Wednesday during our operational season, March to October.


Volunteer Inductions are normally held on the 3rd Saturday of each month except December.


The Railway’s Recruitment Team look forward to talking to you about volunteer opportunities on our Railway.


Philip Young
Recruitment Director, GWRT


November 2017