Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Gwili Railway

As well as preserving a valuable part of our Welsh railway heritage, their work gives pleasure to tens of thousands of our visitors every year.

Our volunteers come from a range of social and occupational background and range in age from students to the retired.

There is more to a railway than just running trains. Our volunteers lend support in many other ways - maintenance of rolling stock and buildings, tracklaying, catering, shop & ticket sales, fund-raising and planning for the future.

Contact our volunteer co-ordinator for details by emailing: [email protected]

Volunteer at the Gwili Railway
Volunteer at the Gwili Railway
Volunteer at the Gwili Railway
Volunteer at the Gwili Railway
Volunteer chefs at the Gwili Railway

Become a Volunteer

The Railway runs passenger trains for more than 200 days each year as well as regular shunting of stock for maintenance, events or operational reasons.

We are currently looking for new volunteers to train in a number of operational and non operational roles and we are currently looking for footplate crew. We offer training and support. For operational roles you may be required to take written tests and undergo a medical examination.

Volunteering if you have a disability

I have a disability – can I volunteer at the Gili Railway?

No volunteer is turned away due to disability, and we will work with you to determine whether a suitable position can be found for you. However, whilst we will do our utmost to find a suitable volunteer role for you, the railway is a dangerous place, and it is not always possible to find a safe role for prospective volunteers. Please also be aware our volunteers must be aged 18 or over.

Do I have to tell you about my disability?

Many of the volunteer roles at the railway are safety critical. This means that, where an individual’s ability to undertake a task is compromised by a disability, it may result in a significant risk to the health and safety of the individual and of others. We have a duty of care to you and to all our volunteers, so you must disclose any disability on your application form.

I need a carer/supervisor – can I volunteer?

If you need a carer or supervisor, you must provide your own nominated carer/supervisor, who must also become a volunteer and who must attend and work alongside you whenever you volunteer at the railway. We regret that the Gwili Railway is not able to provide a carer/supervisor for you.

I am a wheelchair user – can I volunteer?

Gwili is a heritage railway, and so unfortunately much of the site is not accessible for wheelchair users. We may be able to find a suitable volunteer role for you if your skills can be used in accessible areas or in an administrative role that you can do from home.

What suitable vacancies are there?

Whether or not you have a disability, there are many roles that need filling (see below). Some may be more suited to your needs and our Volunteer Co-ordinator will advise you on application.

Induction Days

The best way to find out more about volunteering at the Gwili Railway is to attend an induction day. We run Induction Days for prospective volunteers every month. These are free to attend and give you a chance to find out more about volunteering at the Railway. There are so many different roles at the Railway, if your first choice isn't what you would like to do then you can always come back and try something different.

Induction Days 2019 please email our team below for the next dates...

To find out more and/or attend an Induction Day, fill out an application form and we'll be in touch to find an induction day that suits you. Email the Volunteer:
[email protected]

Current Volunteering Opportunities


Our steam locomotives are operated by a Fireman and Engine Driver. On a normal running day, the Fireman will begin preparing the loco at 6.30am. You will be trained to:-

  • Prepare the locomotive for operation.
  • Check /clean out firebox, ash pan and smokebox
  • Lay and light fire.
  • Maintain fire and correct water level in boiler when running.
  • Assist driver in sighting signals and operating safely.
  • Learn Railway Rules whilst training including health and safety rules.
  • Minimum age to pass out as fireman is 18 (training from age 16).

Engine Driver

Once qualified and competent you may be eligible to progress to driver. You will be trained to:

  • Prepare loco by oiling all bearing surfaces.
  • The driver is in charge of the footplate and drives the train in a safe manner (driver and fireman work as a team).
  • Minimum age to pass out as a Driver is 21, (training can begin at 18 if passed out as Fireman).


The guard is in charge of the train and is responsible for the safety and comfort of our passengers as well as making sure that the trains run to time. He/she is a front line crew member and good people skills are essential. You will be trained to:

  • Prepare the coaches for operation and carry out safety checks.
  • Dispatch the train from stations and watch for signals.
  • Check tickets, answer queries and assist passengers to get the most from their visit.
  • Deal with any incidents or emergencies.
  • Learn Railway Rules whilst training including health and safety rules.
  • Ensure at the end of operations that the passenger coaches are clean, presentable and secure.
  • Minimum age to pass out as a guard is 18 (training from age 16).


The signalman operates the Victorian mechanical signalbox and controls the movement of trains along the railway. He/she is responsible for setting the correct route for trains, operating signals and recording train movements in the train register. You will be trained to:

  • Signal trains safely along the railway
  • Operate the mechanical signalbox and level crossing.
  • Manage train arrival, departure and shunting moves.
  • Deal with any incidents or emergencies.
  • Talk about the signalbox to visitors.
  • Learn Railway Rules whilst training including health and safety rules.
  • Minimum age to pass out as a signalman is 18 (you can start training from age 16).

Kitchen staff/catering assistants

On train dining at the Gwili includes Sunday lunches, Afternoon Cream Teas on the train. We are looking for volunteers to help on Thursdays with cream teas (11.00 – 5.00), selected Sundays (10 – 4.30) and the occasional evening on the dining trains during the Autumn. Main duties will be using washing up machine and clearing tables. Training will be provided with the opportunity to progress to waiting tables.

Gwili Souvenir Shop – Volunteers required

The Gwili Souvenir shop is open in February Half Term and then from Easter to the end of October and during our Santa Event in December. We require volunteers to serve in the shop in the busy periods from April-September.

Car Park Attendants

In July and August we like to roster car park marshals to greet visitors and direct passengers where to park. Our car park is small and this is a vital role to help maximise the car park and give visitors a good experience. High viz clothing supplied. If you are available at weekends that would be especially helpful.

Platform Attendants

If you like dealing with the general public and are happy to lend a hand to the Guard, then this is an ideal role during the Summer season.

Museum Attendant

We have a small museum at Bronwydd Arms Station and would like to have a Museum Attendant to assist the museum curators and help visitors learn more about the exhibits. In the summer we are open 7 days a week so ideally we’d like to have a group of 2-4 volunteers who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about railways and are good at dealing with the public and youngsters.

Seasonal Cleaners

Our vintage carriages are lovely but need regular cleaning. We also have our shop, museum, toilet block, mess room and waiting room. If you have time to spare we are looking for 1-2 volunteers to do regular cleaning jobs for us especially during peak periods especially July and August.

Leaflet Distributors

Throughout the year we distribute posters, postcards, posters and leaflets to a variety of outlets in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath and Bridgend. If you have a car and are interested in doing distribution in any of those areas, please contact us.

General maintenance

With over 8 miles of track bed, three stations, one halt and visitor facilities – there are always maintenance jobs. If you can change tap washers, do minor repairs and have some free time, then please contact us. We particularly need help in November when the Railway is closed to the public but we are preparing for our Santa event.

Working on locomotives, coaches, wagons and infrastructure

Engineering & Motive Power Department

Keen to hear from anyone with a general interest in repair and maintenance of machinery. Also ex-machinists, ex- engineers, ex-welders or student engineers who have time to volunteer.

Carriage and Wagon Department

The department welcomes anyone with an interest in woodwork, metalwork, glazing, electrical, plumbing, upholstery, painting, body repairing or anyone with basic DIY skills. If you've none of these, there are many other jobs which do not require such skills and training can be given. This is a friendly department with a lively social calendar.

To apply as a volunteer for any of the roles at the Railway, please call us on 01267 238213 (Monday to Friday 10-4pm) or email us at [email protected], or apply in writing: Volunteer Co-ordinator, Gwili Railway, Bronwydd Arms Station, Carmarthen SA33 6HT.

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