The West Somerset Railway is launching its 2023 volunteer train, offering free rides to those looking to lend a hand with the service.

People interested in volunteering are invited to board the volunteer train on Sunday, July 2, when it will be making a return journey from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead.

The railway currently benefits from the help of over 800 active volunteers whose contribution keeps the service on track.

The support of volunteers is essential to the continued function of the railway - including volunteer ticket inspectors, stationmasters, track workers and stewards.

Training will be provided to new volunteers to help them learn the skills they will need to perform in their new roles.

A spokesperson for the railway said: "Have you ever thought about volunteering? How about doing something different at the West Somerset Railway?

"We are running a free train journey on Sunday, July 2, to anyone interested in volunteering with us.

"We will have people from various departments talking about their roles and what they do. Register your interest directly with them on the day."

The West Somerset Railway is a tourist attraction operating a heritage line across just under 23 miles of track. It first opened in 1862 when it operated as a commercial line ferrying passengers between Taunton and Watchet.

It was later closed in 1971 by British Rail before being reopened in 1976 as a heritage line. The railway remains a popular destination for locals and visitors - carrying over 200,000 passengers a year it is one of the most popular attractions in the South West.

To learn more visit the West Somerset Railway website.