Since its beginnings in 1989, the association Patrimoine Ferroviaire & Tourisme, which manages the Chemin de Fer du Bocq, has drawn its strength and its ability to evolve from the men and women who make it up. It brings together people from all socio-professional categories and all walks of life. Each one of them contributes to the achievement of the association’s social objective, according to their time, their talent, or simply their desire!
Because of its structure, size and influence, the association has a diverse and extremely varied associative life.
At Le Chemin de Fer du Bocq, in Spontin, our volunteers are involved in many areas related to operations (engine driver, chief guard, commentator, visitor reception, logistics, administration, etc.), or to the maintenance and restoration of rolling stock, maintenance and management of infrastructure (tracks, signalling, level crossings, bridges, tunnels, buildings, etc.)
With our Publishing and Communication teams, we promote our events and commercial activities to the general public, and we highlight the incredible work of our volunteers: articles in our magazine En Lignes, columns on our websites and social networks, creation of posters and flyers, …
In Saint-Ghislain, we try to showcase all the items owned by the association:
- The Retrotrain exhibits our collection and organises visits every first Saturday of the month
- Our shop sells many books, including those published by the PFT
- Our model railways section manages the construction and renovation of several networks, and organises several model railways fairs per year
- Our restoration workshop is specialised in sheet metal work, bodywork and painting on the one hand, and in motorisation, electricity and pneumatics on the other.
- Our archive section contains a large number of plans which are currently being inventoried and classified
Training and certification are organised regularly, mainly at the Chemin de Fer du Bocq. NO SPECIAL TRAINING IS REQUIRED TO JOIN US. Just motivation and a good mood.
If you want to come and help us, do not hesitate to send us an email at [email protected]
If you want to have an overview of the work of our volunteers, subscribe to our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC14Rxlfm2lfFpI3xyn_fcGg
There are therefore different sectors that enable the association to function:
The guided rides on Le Chemin de Fer du Bocq are governed by the General Operating Regulations. These regulations clearly define the conditions under which the trains run in order to guarantee safety. As such, several volunteers are trained and certified to perform safety functions. The safety functions are as follows: Station Master, Train Driver, Conductor, Shunter, Equipment Visitor, Spiker, Barrier Guard and Factionnaire.
In addition to the security functions, countless positions are required to ensure the smooth running of the line: reception staff (responsible for informing visitors on arrival at the site, running the shop and refreshment stall), ticket inspector (responsible for selling or punching train tickets), commentator (responsible for broadcasting the didactic commentary on board the train during the journey), etc.
In addition, some volunteers perform logistical functions and spend their time preparing for operating days (buying supplies for the refreshment stand, cleaning and refurbishing equipment, organising our special days such as Halloween for children, St Nicholas’ Day, the annual Festival, etc.).
All these tasks are carried out according to the needs of the service and the availability of each individual.
This is a fundamental action if you want to run museum material on the line or on the Infrabel network.
All goodwill is welcome to face the multitude of tasks to be carried out, both on the engines and running gear and on the bodywork: renovation/restoration of locomotives, railcars and coaches, bringing them up to standard, maintenance, minor servicing, etc.
Although certain missions obviously require specific know-how, there is no reason why they should not be acquired progressively thanks to the companionship of the most experienced, and all those of goodwill will always find a rewarding task to accomplish.
Maintenance of the infrastructure (stations, tracks, bridges and tunnels). This is one of the essential activities of the Chemin de Fer du Bocq. Indeed, in addition to the restoration of the equipment, no circulation of the latter will be allowed if the track does not allow it!
Work sessions are organised on a regular basis on the track and its surroundings, throughout the year and outside of the operating days. This team ensures that the line is well maintained (rails, sleepers, ballast, pruning of vegetation, etc.).
These sessions are often very convivial: it is in the effort that the teams bond!
For all these missions, the WMC provides training and/or certification. YOU DON’T NEED ANY SPECIAL TRAINING TO JOIN US. Just motivation and good humour.