Volunteer worker experiences

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Mainliner

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I'm thinking of offering my help as a volunteer worker on the Aln Valley railway project - would anyone like to share their experiences of working on that or any similar projects (i.e. relaying tracks, constructing/restoring buildings, working on rolling stock, etc, prior to the re-opening of a line)?

Thanks.
 
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PinzaC55

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It can be an enormously rewarding experience but with a few proviso's.
1) Do not do things on your own intiative. Make sure they are agreed to by the "management".
2) Be aware of Health & Safety and if you are asked to do something outside your training or experience, refuse to do it.
3) Stay out of the "politics" of the line.
 

PFX

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If you're genuinely interested in learning, it will be rewarding, dirty and most likely, tiring work. To use a cliché, you'll get out what you put in to it.

As Pinza says, best steer clear of the politics.
 

1708

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If you're genuinely interested in learning, it will be rewarding, dirty and most likely, tiring work. To use a cliché, you'll get out what you put in to it.

As Pinza says, best steer clear of the politics.
Unfortunatly you,ll never keep 100% away from the politics...but there again If you care about the line you will get involve, whether you like it or not, in the politics
 

PFX

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Mainliner, unless you have the time to spare, ignore the politics. I do care about the line I work at but sadly, cannot devote the additional time to the political side. It is possible to volunteer and despite what is mentioned above, remain blissfully unaware of the politics.

The main thing is getting yourself along to do whatever job comes your way. When you start, try your hand at a few things and you're likely to find some that appeals to you more than others. Most work offers the chance to discover something new and intersting but there will always be the 'chores' that are also essential to the line.
 

PUFFINGBILLY

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Accept your status as a Newbie and realise that to be accepted into what can be little cliques you have to prove your committment by putting in the time.
Look listen and learn but curb over enthusiasm which can be tiresome for others who may have seen many energetic keen Newbies come and go but few stay the course.
Be ultra wary of expressing opinions or showing off whatever railway knowledge you have.
 

YorkshireBear

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Accept your status as a Newbie and realise that to be accepted into what can be little cliques you have to prove your committment by putting in the time.
Look listen and learn but curb over enthusiasm which can be tiresome for others who may have seen many energetic keen Newbies come and go but few stay the course.
Be ultra wary of expressing opinions or showing off whatever railway knowledge you have.
I repectfully disagree.
Dont go in acting like you know it all yes, but dont go in and just stand there like a lemon not saying anything.
Maybe we have experience of different railways.
 
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PUFFINGBILLY

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I repectfully disagree.
Dont go in acting like you know it all yes, but dont go in and just stand there like a lemon not saying anything.
Maybe we have experience of different railways.
I di not mean you "stand there like a lemon". Perhaps I overstated the case. Express interest, ask questions and be willing but beware of being over the top to start with.
I speak from 40 years experience with volunteers and only yesterday I hosted an open day for volunteers ( nothing to do with railways ) & one attendee chap couldn't stop talking, not out of nerves, but out of a need to impress and overwhelm everybody with his experience and knowledge. I spent much time trying to control him as he was putting others off.
Those who chat too much often go quiet when it comes to needing action and can be a pain to train. ( sorry that pun not intended )
 

aylesbury

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Go and offer your services they will welcome you with open arms,if you can wield a paint brush use a hammer and have a laugh ,go for it.I have not been well enough just lately to go down for my weekly session on a Tuesday and boy I miss the company of the lads.Hopefully next week I will be there hoping for (JOB OF THE DAY) I hope.
 

ralphchadkirk

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I wholeheartedly agree with Puffing Billy.

I'd also add not to join in the banter immediatly, wait until you're settled. The vast majority of volunteers are good chaps but some can be a little prickly.

Also, bear in mind you will not be running the railway in a matter of months. You need to work your way up showing professionalism, enthusiasm and most of all competence.
 

YorkshireBear

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I di not mean you "stand there like a lemon". Perhaps I overstated the case. Express interest, ask questions and be willing but beware of being over the top to start with.
I speak from 40 years experience with volunteers and only yesterday I hosted an open day for volunteers ( nothing to do with railways ) & one attendee chap couldn't stop talking, not out of nerves, but out of a need to impress and overwhelm everybody with his experience and knowledge. I spent much time trying to control him as he was putting others off.
Those who chat too much often go quiet when it comes to needing action and can be a pain to train. ( sorry that pun not intended )
I may have taken what you said a bit further than you meant and i certainly agree with you in the example you have just given.
But on the banter i must say, i didnt join in straight away but i certainly was encouraged to!!!!
 
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