Since its historical beginnings in 1987, the York-Durham Heritage Railway has been run primarily by our members and volunteers. Our organization would literally fall off the rails without the dedication of the many friends of the railway. There is no shortage of work and we are always looking for new members to help in the many tasks required to keep the YDHR running smoothly.

Interested? Become a YDHR member

Our volunteer members all have something unique and valuable to offer the railway. We have retired teachers, computer specialists, chemical engineers, financial analysts, motor mechanics, and more! All of these people enjoy the challenge of volunteer work and the pleasure of knowing our heritage is being preserved. Memberships are available for individuals, couples, or families.

You can contribute your time to any of these volunteer positions

Train Ambassador

If you enjoy interacting with people, then becoming a Train Ambassador might be just the thing for you. Engaging with our passengers as an ambassador is a sought after position and we are always looking for new additions to our team.

Operating Crew

The crew consists of an engineer, conductor and trainmen. We will train you on hand signals, radio etiquette, hook-ups, brake tests, runarounds and locomotive driving. All it takes is a willingness to learn – no railway background experience is needed!

Track Department

YDHR is responsible for maintaining all the track, railway crossings, switches and derails on the line. Outdoor jobs that aren’t as heavy include brush clearing, sign repair and line inspection. There’s always plenty of track work on a line in excess of 12 miles.

Locomotive Maintenance

We have 3 locomotives so there is always plenty of work to do. For those who enjoy the challenge of first generation diesel-electric motive power, this might be just the position for you.

Car Department

With all the coaches in our stable, there is plenty of work in maintaining and repairing our passenger coaches. Such work includes: window repair, carpentry, body work, electrical and plumbing fixes.

On-board Services

From ticket sales, to selling souvenirs and operating the snack car, on-board services is the place to be if you really enjoy meeting people.


With all of our many varied themed rides, we are always looking for new photographs and videos. If you’re an avid photographer, why not try your hand at multimedia?

Railway Artifacts Museum

Be a part of history. There is plenty of work for those who are interested in heritage equipment. We have two pieces of heritage rolling stock that requiring repairs and refurbishing before they can be added to the museum.

Track workRebuilding trackCoupling train

General Maintenance

Maintaining the grounds takes a lot of work. More so, keeping our storage trailers and work sheds in a semblance of order, as well as gardening, carpentry, painting, metal work, and all-round general labour, requires many resources; the perfect position for the handy and energetic person.

Volunteer Membership

All volunteers are required to maintain Membership status for insurance purposes. Look at the many advantages to being a YDHR member.

  • Members who volunteer their time can ride the train for free. Certain conditions apply; please refer to the “Members Benefits” section in the 2019 YDHR Membership Application
  • You will receive our quarterly newsletter, the Connecting Rod, with YDHR updates and interesting rail articles.
  • You will have the opportunity to vote at our annual general meeting
  • Friendships with fellow rail-fans!

Membership fees:


2019 YDHR Membership Application

Attention High School Students
Volunteer with YDHR to complete your community service hours needed for graduation! Find out how.