The RPSI is a voluntary-run organisation. Our volunteers preserve, conserve and restore railway vehicles from the era when steam trains were common. We operate mainline steam trains throughout Ireland and throughout the year.

Volunteers at RPSI

Being involved in railway preservation is great fun but more - it rewards the volunteer with new friends, new skills, exposure to all that railway heritage has to offer. Would you like to become involved in restoring or operating our trains? We are passionate about the steam trains we run and we always welcome new volunteers. Check that you meet the pre-requisites below and if you are still unsure, then take a look at what you are missing!

Have you a yearning to do something productive with your spare time? Would you like to work in a team towards a real goal? Think of what you might be able to gain:

  • You will meet friendly people with a common interest.
  • You will learn new skills or maybe try out something you have always wanted to do.
  • You will be out and enjoying our green and pleasant land at its best - from a train, at our engineering bases in Dublin and Whitehead or maybe as part of our Dublin and Belfast Area Operations Committees.
  • In our hectic modern lives, you can have a hobby that rewards and relaxes. Stress relief.
  • Whatever you do with the RPSI, you will be ensuring that steam trains continue to run for the good of the whole community.
  • We are asking for whatever help you can give us, from stuffing envelopes one evening a quarter, to regular physical volunteering at our bases in Dublin and Whitehead. The jobs range from administrative tasks to heavy engineering. We require to complete every possible business activity you can imagine in between!

Vacancies exist in the following areas:

  • Our Museum as guides and platform staff.
  • On train staff - catering, marshalling, seat allocation.
  • Steam Locomotive roster (become a cleaner/steam-raiser and then work up the grades to shunter, fireman or steam driver).
  • Locomotive Workshop department - restoration of preserved steam (and diesel) railway locomotives.
  • Carriage & Wagon department - restoration of Ireland's largest collection of vintage railway carriages.
  • Electrical department - electrical work on site and on rolling stock.
  • Permanent Way department - track, fencing, buildings and structures.
  • Signalling - this is in its infancy, but we are keen to set up a team to progress the signalling of our station.
  • Sales and marketing - book, toy and railway, sales and shopkeeping.
  • Fundraising - an often overlooked job, but vitally important.
  • Operations teams - organising every aspect of the steam trains we operate throughout Ireland.
  • Committees - too numerous to list, but an ideal way to help without literally getting your hands dirty.

If you would like to become a RPSI volunteer then you must:

  • Be an RPSI Member (required for insurance purposes).
  • Print and return a self-certification form (to ensure eligibility for volunteering) -  download here.
  • Agree to undergo a convictions disclosure check, should the need arise.
  • If a vulnerable adult, be accompanied by a guardian or family member to take responsibility at all times.
  • Be aged over 18. Exceptions are:14+, accompanied by a parent, guardian or family member to take responsibility at all times (Whitehead).
    16+, accompanied by a letter of parental release (Whitehead).
  • In the Dublin area, off-train work is done on railway property and under 18s or vulnerable adults are not permitted, even for a visit.
  • Be suitably dressed - for physical work at Dublin or Whitehead, old clothes/overalls, steel toe capped boots are essential (you won't be allowed to work without them). Don't wear anything that you want to see clean again!

If you would like to become a RPSI volunteer it will help if you have:

  • Minimal / no / some / lots of previous experience! Any training required will be provided.
  • An ability to laugh :-)
  • An ability to drink tea!
  • An ability to think laterally and literally!
  • Filled in the application questionnaire which you can download here.
  • The RPSI has around 1,000 members; one member spending one day with a paintbrush or a pen can make all the difference!