Young Volunteers

Training and Development Programme for 14 and 15 year olds

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all on site training is cancelled for 2020.  However, we do have some ‘virtual’ training coming up, where interested young people can join in on a Zoom training session. The online sessions will provide a fun, competitive and supportive environment in which we will explore various aspects of railway operation continuing to prepare those attending for mainstream volunteering upon reaching 16, when permitted. They are being held on Monday 24th August and Wednesday 28th October.

If you would like to register for the sessions or have any further questions then please contact our Training Co-ordinator, Matthew Wear via email [email protected]

Talyllyn Tracksiders  for Under 14s

Talyllyn Tracksiders is the name for the railway’s family volunteer working group. Working visits are organised 2 or 3 times a year, for up to a week each time, including the Spring Bank Holiday / May and October half term weeks, when up to 30 youngsters and their parents come along. For more information contact: Ian Evans at [email protected] Tracksiders is open to all junior members with their parental or guardian supervision with throughout. Tracksiders work in supervised groups on projects such as painting, fencing, clearing undergrowth, restoring slate fencing, building footpaths and many, many other jobs.

Tracksiders are not involved in the operating of any trains and Pendre workshops along with the locomotive sheds are effectively out of bounds. A key focus of Talyllyn Tracksiders is that it is arranged for family participation.    The group also enjoys an annual putting competition; picnics; barbeques, beach parties etc. The aim is to have fun, learn new skills and make friends. Many TRPS members have life-long friends from their earliest days on the railway, and we provide the same opportunity for the next generation.

Talyllyn Navvies   Ages 11-18

Are you looking for an unusual family activity holiday with older children?
Or are you 11+ and want to volunteer alone when you are 16?
Then Navvies is right up your railway line. As well as being a lot of fun, former Naavies have gone on to work in various departments on the railway while some have found it useful for deciding on future studies or career.
The week’s activities take place during a week in August, starting with a safety meeting on Sunday with activities from Monday to Friday. Depending on the overall interests of the group, these will include:

• tasks assigned by the Outdoor Foreman – recent activities involved dredging stones from a stream so the track wouldn’t flood (and ended with a race of plastic buckets), painting pipes and bushwhacking* • cleaning engines and carriages (early start)* • a trip up the railway to see what guarding a train involves* • a visit to at least one of the following: Control Office, Booking Office and or Blockpost (Signalbox) to see how they are run* • finding out about how the shops/cafes run (optional) • finding out what the track gang do (optional)* • a talk from the engineering workshop (optional) • a day off * any lineside or operational duties are limited to those aged 16 or over Other activities, such as a campfire, walk, kayaking or trip to the cinema, take place according to what people want to do during the week and the weather. What you need to bring:

  • Sturdy shoes or walking boots
  • Old clothes or overalls
  • Lunch or money (there are two cafes on the railway, where working volunteers can get discounted food and drink)
  • 1 adult per child under 16 (16 or over can volunteer alone with a parental consent)

It is not essential to be a member of the TRPS, but if you do decide to become part of the TR family, you get free travel on the days you don’t work. We will provide:

  • High visibility vests for track work
  • Sturdy gloves (adult sizes only)
  • Whatever training is needed as regards safe working on the railway.

No sessions are planned for 2020, but for future activigties please contact [email protected] for more information.

Young Members Group   Ages 14-25

If you’re a member aged 14-25, then you’re a part of the Talyllyn Railway’s Young Members Group (YMG). The YMG represents, supports and creates a fun environment for anyone interested or already volunteering on the railway. Everyone’s welcome at our activities; some of us have previously been Tracksiders or Navvies, while others have only discovered the Talyllyn when looking for somewhere fun to volunteer, learn new skills and make new friends. New people join us every year and you certainly don’t have to be a railway fanatic to get involved! Lots of young members come to volunteer during the school/university holidays. Many stay in the railway’s own Volunteer Hostel “Llechfan” (across the tracks at Tywyn Wharf station) where there is a very sociable atmosphere. The experience of living away from home with other people and volunteering in a variety of roles is valuable experience that looks great on CVs and UCAS forms and leads to lasting friendships.

Recent YMG activities include social events like barbecues and going to the cinema, days out to other railways and working parties like replacing lineside fences. We are also organising a “Young Members Gala” over two days in August 2019, with the youngest available volunteers at work. To find out more information about the YMG, feel free to send us an email ([email protected]) and see what we’re up to by following us on Facebook and Instagram!