As described below, there are a number of departments on the railway which have their own jobs and responsibilities. Every department relies on volunteers to progress the work that they do and all departments welcome any new and existing members to come and work with them. Given the wide are varied jobs that need to be carried out on the railway, we are sure we can find a job that suits any skill level.
If you are interested in volunteering with us but are unsure how to get involved or who to contact, please email us with your details and a brief outline on any relevent experiance (although experiance is not necessary) that you may have and we will arrange a time for you to visit the railway, have a look around and discuss the next steps.
We do ask that any members looking to work with us as a volunteer be prepared to undertake the company Personal Track Safety (PTS) Course and then, depending on what roles/responsibilities are chosen, the necessary sections from our Rule Book. In some area's, there may be the requirement to sit certain assessments as a proof of competancy to do a particular job. It is also up to the volunteer to provide thier own Personal Protective Equipment (Overalls, Hi-viz vest, Steel Toe-capped boots, etc).
This is the department involved in the actual operation of the passenger services at Blaenavon on running days. You can learn to fire and drive the Steam Locomotives, drive Diesel Locomotives, become a Guard, help in the on-train Buffet or, perhaps most importantly of all, sell tickets. Training is given both in the classroom and ‘on-the-job’, usually by our more experienced members.
This department looks after the maintenance of the railway track on the current operating section of the railway. Recently, it has also responsible for the upgrading of the extension to passenger standards and the laying of new track work in connection with the Big Pit Branch. Come along and see us, "Track Bashing" can be fun and rewarding, especially if you look good in day glow orange clothing.
On the left we see members working on the crossing south of Forgeside Road Bridge
This department looks after the maintenance of the Diesel Locomotives on the railway, as well as the engines and under body equipment on Diesel Multiple Units. Tasks range from routine maintenance tasks such as oil changes, general examinations, examinations, etc. to major rebuilds and restoration. With such a wide range of DMU's and Locomotives on site, the department is always on the look-out for more volunteers to assist with the workload.
This department looks after the maintenance of the Steam Locomotives on the railway, Tasks range from routine maintenance tasks such as general examinations, etc. to major rebuilds and restoration. The department is currently engaged on a number of restoration initiatives and is finding it hard to find sufficient bodies to do the work. So why not get some oil on your hands and come along and help us.
The railway has a large and varied collection of rolling stock looked after by this department. The coaching fleet is made up mainly of ex-BR Mark 1 carriages although there are a few old GWR coaches on site being restored, not to mention the ongoing interior restoration of our thumper unit. There are also a large number of wagons also in various states of restoration. The image to the left shows the current progress on our M&M carriage which is currently under restoration.
Nothing makes a railway more like a railway than its buildings and structures. This is the "bricks and mortar" and "nuts and bolts" department of the railway and is always overloaded. If you're a bit of a "handy Andy" we would very much like to meet you. This is a very small team, and with so little infrastructure, there are many building challenges ahead. If you’ve got some 'oomph' in you, you could be a big fish in a small pond very quickly. We’ve just finished installing sewerage and water supplies, and with the top shed ripe for extension, huts to bring back into use, etc., this department has more work than it can handle.
Technically, this is a sub-department and is managed alongside the Civil Engineering and Permanent Way Departments. Whilst we have no fixed signalling (or telegraphs for that matter) on the railway at the moment, this small department is busy acquiring bits and pieces to do with both signalling/point control and telegraph equipment. The department is currently in the process of overhauling a ground frame for use at furnace sidings which is to be used to control both the cross over and Deviation point work. The department welcomes any volunteers to come and help as there is a lot of work to be accomplished, even more so when Signal Boxes start creeping into the equation.
Unless credited, photos are © Alistair Grieve
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Blaenavon Railway (1983) Ltd.
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