Become a volunteer

The Friends of Kirklees Light Railway is the group of dedicated volunteers who support the small team of permanent Whistlestop Valley staff to maintain

and operate the railway.

This involves an immense amount of

work undertaking a multitude of activities.

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Our volunteers assist in the following areas:

  • Track maintenance

  • Engineering works

  • Overgrowth clearance

  • Steam driving

  • Diesel driving

  • Guard duties

  • Building works

  • Grounds maintenance

We are always on the look out for new volunteers to assist with the operation of the railway. If you are interested in helping, please speak to a member of staff whilst you are visiting Whistlestop Valley or send an email to


At the time of enquiry, an application form and medical form will need to be filled in and sent back to the office.

Work with us

If you're interested in becoming a full member of staff at Whistlestop Valley. Check out our current vacancies here.

Volunteers FAQs

How much time do I have to give?

There is no minimum number of hours you have to give to become a volunteer. We have volunteers that come in 2-3 times a week, once a week, a couple of times a month or once every couple of months. We send out an availability sheet monthly, which we ask you to return with the dates you will be coming in to volunteer. This is to allow us to roster you.

Are there any age limits to become a volunteer?

We regret that at present, we are unable to accept volunteers under the age of 16. There is no upper age limit.

Can I choose which area I want to specialise in?

Yes, however on occasions we may need you to help in other areas to assist with the operating of the railway e.g. on special event days.

Can I become a steam driver straight away?

Unfortunately not. All volunteers interested in becoming a steam driver are expected to complete their guard and diesel training prior to becoming a steam driver and be a volunteer at the Kirklees Light Railway for at least a year before steam driver training commences.

Do I need previous experience working at a heritage railway to volunteer?

No experience is required to become a volunteer. We will ensure that training is given where required to help you complete tasks.

Do you provide any accommodation for volunteers?

Yes, we have an accommodation block named the "Romney Hut" located at Clayton West which volunteers are able to use by arrangement. There is a small charge per night for staying in the hut which helps us to cover the costs of cleaning and maintenance.

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