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Become A Volunteer

At Gwili Railway, Carmarthen, Gb

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.

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

We are always 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.

Contact our volunteer co-ordinator for details by emailing:

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).


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).

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).

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.

Car Park Attendants

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

Gwili Souvenir Shop

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, or
  • apply in writing: Volunteer Co-ordinator, Gwili Railway, Bronwydd Arms Station, Carmarthen SA33 6HT.