The railway has many different areas of activity, and there are opportunities to volunteer in all of them. The rest of this page describes some of the main options, but there are plenty of others.

The Locomotive Footplate

A driver and fireman on the platform.

Every young child's dream - becoming an engine driver!

Since we are a heritage railway, there are opportunities to experience working on a variety of steam and diesel locomotives.

Starting as a Shunter, then for a steam locomotive you can work your way through the ranks to Cleaner, Passed Cleaner, Fireman and then to Driver. The equivalent for a Diesel Locomotive is again to start as a Shunter, and then progress to Second Man and to Driver.


An engineer in the workshop, painting part of a locomotive.

Maintaining and Restoring our historic rolling stock

Gain new skills and help to safeguard our engineering heritage by helping to maintain and restore our historic fleet of steam and diesel locomotives.

There are great opportunities to volunteer alongside experienced engineers and craftsmen, working behind the scenes to preserve the past and secure the future of the Middleton Railway. You would be helping to keep alive the skills that were developed in Leeds to enable many of these locomotives to be constructed.

Shop Staff

Shop staff serving a welcome drink

The public face of the Railway

Volunteering in the Middleton Railway’s Gift Shop provides a great opportunity to interact with visitors and passengers. The social hub of the railway, the gift shop offers an essential support service covering all aspects of the railway, from operations to timetables.

Work alongside friendly, polite and approachable volunteers and enjoy a direct relationship with our passengers. Roles include: Ticket Sales, Customer Support, Shop Assistant and Refreshments.


A guard preparing to give the signal to depart

Keeping passengers safe on the trains

Train Guards interact directly with the passengers, taking on the responsibility of passenger safety and ticket collection. Personable and smartly dressed, the Train Guards are a key part of the public face of the Middleton Railway.

Permanent Way

A gang working on the track.

Keeping the Railway line in good order

The Permanent Way Department ensures that the track and associated infrastructure are well maintained for our passenger’s safety and enjoyment.

The department is responsible for all maintenance and inspection of the track, the ground over which it runs and the surrounding hedges and fences. As such it is a vital part of the railway, and consists of a wide variety of volunteer staff roles and skills.

Other Opportunities

A member of our education team in action.

There really is scope for everyone to contribute

There are many other opportunities for volunteering, besides the ones described above. From building maintenance to running events, from gardening to marketing, if you have some special skill we can find a way of using it.

In particular, there are opportunities in our education team; as part of our museum staff (where we are hoping to establish a team of “explainers” who can help people understand the exhibits in our display hall); and in helping with the organisation of our Santa Specials and other events.