The six-week-long Love Your Railway scheme, being spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, is now in its third week, with the theme being Volunteers.
As many readers will know, most, if not all, heritage railways are run mostly by volunteers and do not get paid.
A number of railways have taken to social media to share their love for volunteers, and how you can get involved with helping to run a heritage railway.
Today is a very important day too, as the 11th of August marks a significant date in the diary as the final day on steam on the mainline.
More than 55 heritage organisations are now part of the Love Your Railway scheme and the Heritage Railway Association has championed the scheme.
Here a brief overview of what the railways have been up to during volunteer week of #LoveYourRailway
The Great Central Railway, which runs full size steam trains from Leicester North to Loughborough, are always on the look out for volunteers as they would not be here today without them.
Interested in volunteering? You can email the Great Central Railway by clicking here.
The Apedale Railway, in Staffordshire, has also celebrated its volunteers, and has said that they “could really use a few more guards”.
You can get in touch with the Apedale Railway by clicking here.
Time to celebrate our #volunteers. We are always looking for more people to get involved – at the moment we could really use a few more guards, so if you’re interested just get in touch. #LoveYourRailway #Staffordshire #Stoke #NewcastleUnderLyme https://t.co/IB3wmWuN0e pic.twitter.com/NpM5VYyns1
— Apedale Railway (@ApedaleRailway) August 10, 2021
The West Somerset Railway has thanked all of its volunteers for its hard work and dedication, including train staff, engine crews, admin, phone-answering, weeding, cleaning and tweeting!
…guards, TTIs, catering, firemen, drivers, P-Way, signalling, rolling stock repair, restoration, painting, gardening, admin, telephone-answering, weeding, cleaning and many more… All #volunteers on the WSR…
— West Somerset Railway (@WSomRailway) August 10, 2021
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway have posted news of their 40th Anniversary Gala, taking place on the 23rd and 24th October 2021, again, the railway is run by volunteers and galas like these take 100s of hours to prepare and run. Interested? Get in touch with the GWSR here.
Foremarke Hall token exchange at a busy Winchcombe Station watched by Dinmore Manor. Lots more action at our mixed traction 40th Anniversary Gala 23-24 October.#LoveYourRailway Love #SteamTrainshttps://t.co/t3OQyXA8na pic.twitter.com/dfBYJ7M49u
— Glos Warks Railway (@GWSR) August 10, 2021
The Pontypool and Blaeavon Railway have tweeted to thank their volunteers. As a railway which is 100% volunteer run, they are vital to making the wheels turn and the kettle boiling. Interesting in helping in South Wales? Click here for more information.
👏 To the army of volunteers who keep Britain’s heritage railways alive for future generations, we say thank you/diolch yn fawr iawn! 😀
❓ Are you one of them? Let us know in the replies with what you do, where, and the hashtag #LoveYourRailway!
— Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway (@Pb_Railway) August 10, 2021
These are just a few railways that have tweeted, and you can follow all the discussion using #LoveYourRailway.
Have you been a volunteer at a heritage railway? Let us know your stories in the comments below.
Steve Oates, CEO of the Heritage Railway Association said: “We are thrilled to see the way this campaign has hit the spot. After all, we do love our heritage railways and we want more and more people to have the opportunity to do the same.
“It’s great to see so many of our members taking the time to join in the ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign. This is not only promoting the love of steam but also everything a visit to a heritage railway has to offer from education to making family memories.
“This can only help our railways to enjoy a continued boost with carriages full and finances at last improving after last year’s covid-impacted and curtailed summer.”
Chris Price, General Manager at NYMR, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to Love Your Railway – to have over 50 heritage railways taking part in the campaign’s first year shows the incredible support and solidarity running through the sector.”
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