We operate with a blended team of professional staff and volunteers and each and every person is needed and valued. We wouldn’t want to be without our teams of volunteers, who turn up every week, whatever the weather, to paint the signal box or clean the station signs, fix the fences and maintain the track – it’s not all glamorous engine driving! They are happy to pass on experience and skills acquired during other employment, as well as on our own heritage buildings and assets.
Here is some information about the various teams here at the railway.
The Operations Team
You can spot our outstanding Operations Team in the signal box, on the platforms, in the Guard van, on the footplate, acting as Duty Operations Manager, shunting stock, using the fork lift truck and generally keeping us going and helping deliver the services. These roles require training and ongoing dedication as we continually re- evaluate to maintain our top class safety record. All training is provided though and there isn’t a time limit on getting through it either. We have people from all backgrounds in our operations team and they wouldn’t come if they didn’t enjoy it because they are, after all, volunteering.
The Buildings Team
Ever wonder who maintains the wonderful old Station Buildings, or paints the steps of the coaches, or repairs the fences, or any number of other tasks to keep the station looking its best? That would be our brilliant Buildings Team; this happy team keep things going in the buildings department with charm and hard work and sometimes less than a shoestring budget. They might say that you don’t need many skills to be part of this team, but that isn’t right. Because they turn their hand to so many things here, they are actually a skilled and skilful team. However, you don’t need any special skills to join the team. Right from the start you will be made welcome and found something to do which suits your particular talents.
The Engineering Team
The engine shed team always have black hands and certainly need a good supply of degreaser as they keep our locos in good condition. Our excellent Engineering Team can be found next to, on top of, and underneath our locos (and other equipment), and work to deliver the stock that we run our services with. Dedication and talent abound here, and the various technical backgrounds are brought together to form a team capable of delivering all of our maintenance needs. In fact, our team are just delivering the final stages of a locomotive rebuild. How’s that for an interesting hobby!
The Infrastructure Team
Who lays and maintains the track, checks the points, mends the fences, maintains the signals, keeps the line operating and the infrastructure in good condition? This tiny Infrastructure Team of extremely dedicated guys are often out on the track in the middle of winter when our essential track replacement takes place. Without track and signals we cannot run our trains and that’s a no brainer. But we also have assets like bridges and viaducts, as well as footpaths and fencing which have to be in good order to accommodate our many visitors. If you like working outdoors, then this team could be right up your alley. No training is required before you join this team as you’ll get full support from your team members as they impart their knowledge.
The Grounds Team
Gardening, grass cutting, pot and hanging basket maintenance, litter picking and leaf collection are what this team is about. We have a fair bit to look after here at Alston and we will be adding to that with the addition of our Slaggyford grounds. We will also be making changes here as we upgrade our garden areas and our new gardening team would welcome all comers as there is plenty to get done.
Volunteering to keep our stations looking lovely is very worthwhile and it’s appreciated by our visitors too.
The Commercial & Youth Teams
Fancy working in the shop or café, or maybe chatting to visitors or assisting at events?
We’d quite simply love to have you. We also have a youth group run by our Education Team for those younger members and it’s surprising how quickly they get engrossed in the many areas around site and forget all about computer games and mobile phones.
What about combining both? While your young person is off being supervised by our fully certified adults, why not help out in one of our commercial departments. We provide full training and uniforms where relevant and we even pay for certification where it is required such as in the café.
The Professional Team
We can’t do what we do without serious details like fund raising, financial management and in depth knowledge of our many assets owned by the Society of which we are all part.
If you have fund raising skills that you can share with us as a volunteer, then we would love to hear from you.
In addition, if you have professional skills that you think could benefit the Society in any way then the GM would be happy to meet you for an initial chat to see how those skills could be applied here if you would be happy to volunteer.
Finally, we need a Treasurer. Our Assistant Treasurer wears many hats and would dearly love to be able to make that ‘assistant’ part of his title, actually mean something.
If you are a qualified accountant and would like to look into this volunteer role, then we would be delighted to meet with you.
The Office Team
These days everything has to be to the right standard and that’s where the office team come in. We don’t currently have any volunteers in our office team because to be honest, it would be more difficult to integrate unless a lot of commitment could be given to the role year round. It would be a great way to spend your retirement though if you enjoy filing, meeting and greeting, checking off and signing for orders, making the tea for meetings and much more to keep things organised. Maybe you have a particular skill that could be applied as a part of this team? Then let us hear about it please!
But the office team don’t just answer the telephones and open the mail. We actually have a few professionals to ensure that the entire team have the right objectives so that we all work together in the right way, safely, to meet the various levels of legislation and also to fulfil the site vision. No one is an island here because that wouldn’t work. The office team makes sure that tasks are delivered to the appropriate standards to maintain our business in the right way.
If any of this makes you think that you would like to join us as a volunteer, then please get in touch. You would be more than welcome and we really can’t overstate that.
We need volunteers in all areas of this business and that means we need you!
Would you like to volunteer? If so, please contact us and we’ll be in touch soon…