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Our First Qualified Female Railway Volunteer

23 May 2022

Meet Terri Short, a Driver’s Assistant Shunter Volunteer for the Chatham Historic Railway. Terri is the first qualified female to volunteer on the Railway. We caught up with her whilst the team were hard at work restoring the Rochester Castle. Learn more about this restoration project here.
Terri and her husband Neal are a dynamic duo at the railway. Neal joined the railway over 15-years ago after seeing locos around the Dockyard whilst he was part of the model railway club. Terri was also inspired join and now she is creating her own legacy.

Image: Terri and Neal Short, Historic Railway Volunteers

Q: What does it mean to be the first female railway volunteer?
A: It is a huge honour. At the last Salute to the ’40s weekend I was on a locomotive and as I went past I heard a woman shout “I love to see a female driver.” It was a huge, proud moment for me. Even just for the children seeing us do the smallest things such as angle grinding, if they can see me doing it then they will feel like it’s normal and want to do it.
Terri is now evolving what she does at the Dockyard and is training to drive the Diesel locomotives. Additionally, she will also train to be a fireman on Ajax, our steam locomotive.
The railway within The Historic Dockyard Chatham is unlike any other heritage railway operation elsewhere in the UK – in terms of its operating characteristics and in terms of its organisational structure. There is no Club or Association to join, no membership fees to pay, or any commercial issues to manage.
The role of the railway volunteer is to operate and help maintain the railway and its equipment as directed by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.
Find out more about Volunteering for Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

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