Its full steam ahead for two young volunteers who have just qualified as Firemen at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway.

Conner Thornton (left) and Matt Riley, who are both 18, spend most of their spare time helping to maintain the locomotives in the engine shed at Ludborough when they are not doing their day jobs.

Conner began helping out at the heritage railway when he was just twelve and says that he has learnt an enormous variety of skills from the older volunteers. He started in the maintenance department and later moved to the locomotive engineering side, where he has worked his way up from trainee cleaner to fireman in just three years.

It was a double celebration for Matt Riley, who took his fireman’s  exam on his 18th birthday and passed with flying colours. Matt became a volunteer at Ludborough when he was 15 and it wasn’t long before he qualified as a passed cleaner, which meant he could fire the locomotive under the supervision.

Now both Conner and Matt have taken another step up the ladder to become qualified firemen in their own right.

“The fireman’s exam is no easy task. It involves doing at least 20 turns as a cleaner, then taking a 60 question theory paper and an 80 question rules exam” said LWR Engineering Director, James Wilson. “I’m really pleased for them. They’ve both worked really hard for the exam and deserved to pass”.

The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is always looking for new volunteers, particularly from the younger generation like Conner and Matt, to help keep the railway running in the future.

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