Young Volunteers

Talyllyn Tracksiders  for Under 14’s

Talyllyn Tracksiders is the name for the railway’s family volunteer working groups. 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.

For more information contact: Ian Evans at ianficrevans@gmail.com

Tracksiders is open to all junior members with their parent(s) supervising.

Tracksiders work in supervised groups on projects such as painting, fencing, clearing undergrowth, restoring slate fencing, building footpaths, relaying sidings, and many, many other jobs. We have done work at stations, on the line side, and in the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.

However, we are not involved in the operating of trains and Pendre workshops and loco sheds are effectively out of bounds. We have however held ‘hands on’ training events at the Downs School Light Railway in Herefordshire and at the North Ings Museum in Lincolnshire.

A key focus of Talyllyn Tracksiders is that it is arranged for family participation. Of course it involves the under 14s who are not allowed to work on the trains, although we do not set any specific age limits.  This arrangement also provides a pool of supervisors, although we do not necessarily insist  that children work with their own parents! The formula also includes 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 14?
Then Navvies is right up your railway line. As well as being a lot of fun, former Navvies 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 the week leading up to the August bank holiday, 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 track manager – 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, ticket office and or block post 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

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 two children (over 14s can volunteer alone)

NB It is not essential to be a member, 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.

The next dates are: Sunday 18th – Friday 23rd August, 2019.

Please contact navvies@talyllyn.co.uk for more information.

Young Members Group   Ages 14-25

The Talyllyn Railway’s Young Members Group consists of all the young volunteers aged between 14 and 25 who volunteer in any way on the Talyllyn Railway.  The YMG welcomes everyone, both new and returning members and is an excellent environment for young people to experience life away from home and take the most satisfaction from volunteering on the Railway.

The group was formed in 1992 with the aims of representing, supporting and organising events for young volunteers on the Railway. The group regularly organises social events on and away from the railway, including in recent years: New Year’s Eve entertainment, fundraising for charity, Go-Karting and summer day trips to different locations.

The most significant feature of the group is that it has a very supportive nature, new volunteers will find that the people teaching them the essential skills of volunteering will often be young people like themselves, having been in the same situation previously. The YMG has a strong presence in the Talyllyn Railway’s volunteer hostel “Llechfan” where there is a social atmosphere. This also instills the responsibility for each other and helps develop life skills as well as offering a safety net for new people finding their feet in Tywyn and away from home.

The Young Members play an important role in the operation and upkeep of the Talyllyn Railway; they are proud that they have been able to demonstrate their commitment through ‘YMG Days’ where the entire railway is operated by members of the group. Such events will be advertised on this website and their Facebook page.  Look out for further information if you are interested in seeing the contribution that young people make to the Talyllyn Railway.

Young people involved with the Talyllyn Railway benefit through what they experience there, experiences which are not taught in the classroom at school or college. Most volunteers are proud to be able to write on their CVs or UCAS applications about their involvement with the Railway, and employers and admission tutors are equally interested to read about the different experiences that strengthen and define those involved. The YMG always welcomes new members, anyone who is interested should Contact the Young Members Group

See what the Young Members Group gets up to by visiting their Facebook page