Working on the Train Gang: Alientation, Liminality and Communitas in the UK Preserved Railway Sector

T. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


The article initially draws upon the notion of non‐alienated labour to explain the motivations of volunteers who offer their time and expertise freely to the running of steam and diesel locomotives within UK preserved railways. It suggests that in this instance the concept is flawed in that volunteers operate outside the cash nexus. In drawing upon the anthropological concepts of liminality and communitas it aims to develop the notion of non‐alienated labour by adding a subjective dimension. It argues that volunteers working on preserved railways are modern‐day pilgrims through their moving in and out of different identities as they seek solace in the certainty of operating and working in complex and highly satisfying workplaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-233
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006



  • Heritage Management & Conservation
  • Leisure Studies

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