York-Durham Heritage Railway


Preserve our history through volunteering

Our volunteer membership is made up of men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds; students, families, single men & women, 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.

The YDHR would fall off the rails without our members and volunteers

Volunteering is an excellent way to help out the YDHR. There are many, many jobs requiring volunteers that will help out the YDHR!

Interested? Become a member of the YDHR

Our railway is a full-fledged railway with all the regular activities you'd expect from any railway. The entire YDHR organization is run by volunteers. Give us a call or send an email - we'd be pleased to show you around! Get started by becoming a member of the YDHR and attend our monthly meetings, only a few hours each month. Continue reading for work descriptions, photos and more inspiration.

Volunteer Membership Form

Membership & Volunteering

Required Membership

All volunteers are required to maintain Membership status for insurance purposes - but there are also many advantages!

  • Members get to ride free on our regularly scheduled trains
  • You will receive the quarterly newsletter with updates on the YDHR’s activities, and interesting articles
  • You will have the opportunity to vote at our Annual General Meeting
  • Monthly Members’ meetings that often feature a guest speaker
  • Friendships with fellow rail-fans!

Membership fees:

  • Single Membership $40.00 (incl HST)
  • Couples Membership $45.00 (incl HST)
  • Family Memberhship $50.00 (incl HST)

Volunteer Membership Form

Attention High School Students

Volunteer with YDHR to complete your community service hours needed for graduation!

Onboard services:Meet people, enhance your customer service skills, gain experience.

Like being outdoors? We need willing workers to help cut and clear brush to maintain clearance of our right-of-way.

Contact YDHR for more information


    • Consist of an engineer, conductor and trainmen along with various assistants. We will train you to safely work on a train including 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.
    • 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.
    • By personnel who enjoy the challenge of first generation diesel-electric motive power. We have 3 locomotives on our roster, so there's always plenty of work to do. If you prefer working on smaller engines, we have a Hi-Rail truck, gascars and lawn tractors that need tender-loving care.
    • Looks after heavy-weight passenger coaches, streamlined day coaches as well as our caboose. These coaches need cleaning, day-to-day maintenance including body work, window repair, carpentry, electrical and plumbing upkeep as well as maintenance on the air brake system.
    • Ticket sales, snack & refreshment counter, souvenir shop. If you enjoy meeting people and helping them enjoy their trip, these positions are right for you. And if you can't commit to on-board services, perhaps you can help with the planning and purchases needed for our special theme trips.
    • Marketing, group sales, public relations, contract negotiations, computer applications and we maintain relationships with key municipal, provincial and transportation officials. Help us coordinate our special events, arranging for supplies or designing signs.
    • We have need for someone with an artistic flair to produce advertising flyers, newsletters, take photographs, or to create videos of the trips we make and the work we do.
    • We're looking to include more heritage railway equipment. We have 2 pieces of rolling stock that need repair and refurbishing work before they can be added to the museum. Plenty of opportunity for someone with interest in heritage equipment.
    • Maintain the grounds, our storage trailers, work sheds and other equipment. We also have gardening, painting, carpentry, metal work, general labour and other activities around the yard calling out for attention.

volunteers in action