The daily operation of the Railway is the responsibility of the Operating Department, which has to provide Guards, Signalmen, Control Staff, Ticket Inspectors, Booking Clerks and Platform Staff and also ensure that trains and stations are clean and tidy. Volunteers are constantly under the public gaze, so personal appearance is important and formal training is required for all of these jobs. As well as having significant safety responsibilities, you must also have good communications and personal skills, for dealing with both colleagues and the general public.


Probably one of the most responsible tasks on the railway is that facilitated by our Guards. The role is much more than blowing a loud whistle and waving a green flag. Each Guard is responsible for his or her train, the passengers and the volunteers and staff working on board. It can take a minimum of couple of years of training to become a guard on NYMR and then further training for the Battersby and Whitby sections, but the rewards of delivering passengers to their destination safely and in good humour are immense. Most guards will start their volunteering as Travelling Ticket Inspector to learn the tasks that a guard carries out. We will have vacancies for qualified guards in the near future so people joining up now will be in an excellent position to take advantage of them.


Ever fancied having control of a section of a real railway set? This is what our signallers do. They have full say which and when trains can run over the section they control. In the words of our current Chairman, John Bailey, who is also a Signalman at Levisham Station, “It is the greatest job in the world.”

Booking Office Clerks: 

Inevitable, one of the first things that most of the railways passengers encounter is the ticket office. 

The task is not simply about selling tickets but also offering a customer service with advising passengers on train times, stations along the line and vital passenger information. It is a very valuable job and tremendously rewarding for those who participate.

Travelling Ticket Inspectors: 

Becoming a Travelling Ticket Inspector is much more than selling and checking tickets. This vital role is about providing a high degree of customer service to our passengers as well as providing the guard with support when required. We are looking for at least ten new volunteers each year to maintain our current railway operation. 

Health & Safety:

Why not join the railways health and safety team which are looking for H&S trained volunteers to help with occasional special projects. These includ Lifting Plans (LOLER), use of Chemicals (COSHH), PAT Testing, Asbestos, Noise Control, Display Screen Equipment and Work Equipment (PUWER). 

Locomotive Footplate: 

Every child's dream is to become an Engine Driver. Today the NYMR allows this to become reality. Starting as a Loco Cleaner, you can work your way through the ranks to Fireman, Passed Fireman, then (after a number of years!!) to Driver. Being a heritage line, there are opportunities to experience working on a variety of steam locomotives, together with diesel locos and railcars. Engine crews on the NYMR are some of the best on any line, due to the unique challenges the route provides.

Volunteering Commitment:

  • Attend Induction Course. 
  • Commit to attending on average at least two occasions per month or equivalent throughout the season.
  • To qualify for safety critical roles, it takes on average two or three years to qualify as Fireman and a further 240 turns to become a Driver, depending upon performance. 
  • A reasonable level of health and fitness is required. 


Get Involved