Two 18-year-olds qualify as steam train firemen

Conner Thornton and Matt Riley.
Conner Thornton and Matt Riley.

It’s full steam ahead for two young volunteers who have just qualified as firemen at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway.

Conner Thornton and Matt Riley, both 18, spend most of their spare time helping out in the engine shed at Ludborough.

Conner began helping out at the heritage railway when he was just 12 years old, starting in the maintenance department and later moving to the locomotive engineering side, where he has worked his way up from trainee cleaner to fireman.

It was a double celebration for Matt Riley, who took his fireman’s exam on his 18th birthday and passed with flying colours.

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

LWR Engineering Director, James Wilson, said: “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. I’m really pleased for them. They both worked really hard for the exam and deserved to pass.”

The LWR is looking for new volunteers, particularly from the younger generation to help keep the railway running in the future.

For details, visit or call 01507 363881.