Join the Canterbury Railway Society and be part of the Ferrymead Railway!

The Canterbury Railway Society relies almost entirely on volunteers to restore and maintain its locomotives, rolling stock, buildings, track, administer the Society and run the Ferrymead Railway.

We are always looking for people to help us preserve New Zealand’s railway heritage. It doesn’t matter if you are not a skilled tradesperson or someone with railway experience, all you need to be is a railway enthusiast and you are welcome to join us. Contact the Canterbury Railway Society on our Contact Page.

Members of the electric department at work on the Main Line. Photograph by Pete Soundy.

What You Can Do on the Ferrymead Railway

The Railway needs from three to seven staff to operate trains on a running day. The positions include drivers, firepersons, cleaners for steam locomotives, guards, assistant guards, signal persons and stationmasters. We provide all the training you need to fill these positions.

We also need people to help restore and maintain our rolling stock and infrastructure, track and so forth. Most members wear more than one ‘hat’ – doing one job on work days and another on running days. You choose what you want to do!

Becoming a Society Member and Benefits

The Canterbury Railway Society welcomes people interested in trains. Members’ benefits include:

  • “Branch Lines” newsletter, published 11 times annually.
  • Free entrance to Ferrymead Heritage Park and free rides on operating days for members and their immediate families.
  • The fun of working with people who love trains as much as you do.
  • Getting up closer to a piece of our history than you could imagine.

The yearly membership fee is NZ$40 for Full Membership and NZ$20 for Junior or Beneficiary Membership. If you don’t live in Christchurch you may still be a member of the Canterbury Railway Society. We have members spread all over the world. We’ll keep you up to date with what we’re doing here on our web site and through the Branchlines members’ newsletter, and you will be able to log into the members area to join in the discussions, read the latest newsletter and view member information and news. When you do arrive in town, you will be right up to date when you come out to Ferrymead to visit us.

To print out our application form, please CLICK HERE or to request an application form to be sent to you, please use our ONLINE CONTACT FORM.
For all membership applications and renewals please forward the completed form with your payment enclosed in a sealed envelope for your protection to:

The Membership Secretary
Canterbury Railway Society Inc.
PO Box 13 039

Can’t Volunteer but would like to still Contribute? Read Below

Supporting the Canterbury Railway Society

There are many ways you can support us, you may like to offer a cash contribution or donation, donate railway memorabilia or mementos, or supply equipment and consumables.

Donate Railway Memorabilia

We find that railway enthusiasts love to collect rail mementos and memorabilia. It may be that you have something tucked away – an old Railways uniform or Railway crockery. As a Society dedicated to collecting and preserving railway heritage we gladly accept donations of railway artefacts – everything from railway pins and watches to carriages and locomotives. Be assured that your donation will be appreciated and cared for. Contact the Society to arrange a donation.

Make a Cash Contribution

You might like to help continue the work that the Canterbury Railway Society carries out with a cash contribution. Maintaining and restoring railway equipment is expensive and as a non-profit organisation we are always short of funds.


If you wish, you may want to leave a bequest as part of your Will which enable’s your legacy to continue our work for future generations.

Please Contact the Society, if you plan to add a bequest to your Will, or if you are after the wording needed, it is just below:

“I give and bequeath the sum of $_____________ (or) __________ % of my estate, (or) residue of my estate, (or) property or assets as follows


free of all charges, to The Canterbury Railway Society Incorporated. The official receipt of the President or other authorised officer of the Society is an absolute discharge to my executors.”

Business Partnerships

We also offer businesses outstanding promotional opportunities through sponsorship and strategic alliances. If you would like more information or a proposal showing what we offer your organisation Contact the Society.