Some may think the off-season means a quiet and restful period of relaxation here on our railways, but it’s quite the opposite! Instead, this signals the start of our extensive Winter Works programme, where Staff and Volunteers will work side by side to complete a large and varying list of tasks including… Lineside Clearance, Carriage Painting & Woodworking, Locomotive Restoration and much more!

There’s a whole host of reasons why Volunteers come over to be part of the wider Ffestiniog family during the Winter months… a sense of belonging, community and wellbeing are among the most commonly cited. It’s also a great opportunity to put your existing experience to good use or pick up some brand new skills!

There’s something special and unique about playing a part of the collective effort to get the railway we all love in tip-top shape for the start of a new season.

If this sounds of interest, take a look at the panels below, which provide an overview of when we are in need of help from our Volunteers over the coming months. Once you’ve noted some dates you would like to come over and help, send us an email at  

We will then get back to you with further information… Let the off-season work commence!

Social life

The railway social life partly revolves round meeting friends in the evening whilst talking through the events of the day and the latest in hot railway gossip, or politics. Because the railway is away from major conurbations, the majority of volunteers stay in the area whilst they are working so there is usually someone to share a meal or have a drink with. Many staff and volunteers enjoy using the railway’s own very popular ‘Spooner’s Café & Bar’ – situated in the old goods shed at Porthmadog Harbour Station. A good evening meal can also be obtained here as well as a wide range of guest draft beers.

There is a wide choice of other pubs and restaurants, take-aways, fish and chip shops etc. in the locality of the two railways and colleagues will be able to advise you which ones give value for money and offer the best choice for your needs.

Evening trains are run from time to time as social events for staff and friends and with the buffet car open and often food available, these are always popular.

The railways' own hostels

The railway has high-quality hostel accommodation available free of charge. This accommodation is booked via the Ffestiniog Railway Society. We also have a camping field with electricity supply available at £6.00 per night. If you are coming for the first time to volunteer, our volunteer co-ordinator will assist you in contacting the relevant person.

Our visitor’s guide is available here.

groups / team building

We are happy to welcome groups of people as volunteers. These come for many purposes. Companies and colleges have sent parties to practice their skills or for team building exercises. Youth Groups arrive with the aim of making progress towards their Duke of Edinburgh award or similar. There does not have to be a specific reason to bring a team along, however, most come along simply to enjoy working on the Railway.

so how do i start?

Just give us a call! – or better still, email us by hitting the button below and our volunteer co-ordinator will respond.