THE Mid-Hants Railway Watercress Line is seeking more volunteers to join its 450-strong team .

Behind-the-scenes skilled volunteers can work in Ropley’s engineering workshops where experience of hand-operated machinery is particularly valuable, the carriage shop where there is particular need for people with carpentry skills, and the loco shop.

The bygone railway is currently in the middle of a Heritage Lottery-funded locomotive restoration project, the Canadian Pacific (CanPac).

The opportunities for joining the team are endless. Elsewhere across the railway, enthusiastic and friendly volunteers can work in the café or shop, education department, help with office duties, events, fundraising, become a tour guide or work on activities such as signalling, driving trains, maintaining the station gardens, and other station roles.

There is also a new volunteer role for young people in the tour guide team. Anyone aged between 16 and 24 can become a ‘young explainer’ and provide behind-the-scenes tours of the workshops at Ropley.

Anyone interested should e-mail Mid-Hants Railway outreach and interpretation officer Dr Becky Peacock at [email protected].

Dr Peacock said: “Without our wonderful band of volunteer workers the Watercress Line would not be able to function in the way it does. There would be no trains running, no stations to wait at, and no track to run on. We very much value the work of our volunteers.”

Every month the Watercress Line hosts a welcome day for interested volunteers and the next one is planned for Sunday, July 15, at 10am. To book a place, call Dave Yaldren on 023 8090 6211.