The firemen help maintain the steam engine, and along with the drivers, keep the engine in control and provides a voice of reason when an engine is being difficult.
If the drivers are unwell or are called away for some reason, the firemen usually take over and drive the engine instead.
While the engine is moving, they shovel coal into the fire and keep the water level where it needs to be, and fill up an engine's water tanks or tender. After a day's work is over, they clean out the ash from the firebox. They also couple the engine if a shunter is not available.
A North Western Railway fireman's uniform consists of blue trousers, a black tie, a white shirt with a blue jacket over it, and a blue cap.
- To date, two firemen have been named: Sidney Hever, Edward's fireman, and Ted, Henry's fireman.
- As with the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, the steam engines of the Arlesdale Railway do not have firemen, as the drivers are capable of handling the duties that they do with the larger gauge engines since their cabs are so small.