Train Driving Experiences

These drive a steam train days are amongst our most popular activities and for many the chance to spend a day at a heritage railway surrounded by steam and diesel locomotives is pure nostalgia, whether they are keen train fans or just appreciate the bygone era of rail travel when there were main lines and branch lines to every corner of the country.

We've got a variety of train-themed experiences on offer, from driving trains or riding on the footplate, to assisting a signaller in a signal box. All experiences make for a great day out for all the family as there is plenty to do on site from visiting museums and workshops, to taking a ride on the train and browsing the collector's shop. Be sure to book well in advance for these train drive experiences though, as demand can be high! Read more...

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Drive a steam train and conquer the valleys and embankments of the Churnet...

Venue Cheddleton, Staffordshire

From £299.00

 
Go nostalgic when you get to meet a steam train in Kent! Not only do you get to...

Venue Rolvenden, Kent

From £275.00

 
A truly nostalgic day as you drive a steam train in Leicestershire on the tracks

Venue Near Loughborough

From £350.00

 
Ride upfront with this footplate experience and see what the track looks like...

Venue Cheddleton, Staffordshire

From £145.00

 
Book your place on this coveted diesel experience at Elsecar Railway and you...

Venue Elsecar, South Yorkshire

From £109.00

 
Enjoy a diesel train driving experience that'll see you riding up front with...

Venue Tenterden in Kent

From £109.00

 
Drive a diesel train along the wonderful Churnet Valley Railway line! British...

Venue Cheddleton, Staffordshire

From £249.00

 
When it comes to cuteness, the Sherwood Forest Railway wins hands down! It's a...

Venue Nottinghamshire

From £59.00

 
Land your dream job for a day on a steam train in Cornwall! You will be...

Venue Bodmin & Wenford Railway

From £375.00

 
Immerse yourself in the golden age of the railways on this fantastic steam...

Venue Tenterden in Kent

From £149.00

 
Have you ever heard the steam engine puffing along the South Yorkshire...

Venue Elsecar, South Yorkshire

From £159.00

 

It was probably the dream of every youngster - steam train driver. Whether you loved Thomas the Tank Engine, preferred Ivor the Engine or were a number fan of Hornby, the world of locomotives and wagons is fascinating when you're young. And judging by the popularity of heritage railways, it would seem the enthusiasm for trains is un-waning as we grow up!

What we love about our experience days is the fact that they are offer a really comprehensive itinerary. Many start in the morning with a train crew meeting over a cuppa where the running schedule for the day is discussed. You will instantly feel like part of the team, many of whom are actually volunteers with many, many years of experience in engine restoration, maintenance and driving. So much so that's it's a real honour to spend time with them.

Those lucky enough to be going on a footplate experience will then relish the chance to be 'up front' in a wonderful, fully restored loco. We have to say, it's a proper working environment (as the coal fire needs stoking after all!) so prepare for it to be hot, sooty and noisy too. But that's all part of the fun. Of course, there's no firing up to be done if you're in a diesel set up - which is one of the reasons why steam locos were superseded by the 'cleanness' of these engines, but it's a real thrill to be at the helm of a early 1950s diesel multiple unit chugging along the railway.

As well as having the chance to be a driver for the day, you can also find out what it's like to be a signal operator. Nowadays everything is fully electronic, but back in the days of steam, each signal box was staffed and it involved shifting heavy metal levers to change the tracks for the trains. As you can imagine, the job came with a lot of responsibility!

You'll also get to have a nosey around the steam train workshops on the vast majority of these experience days. Within the confines of these huge sheds you'll be amazed at the skill and dedication of the restorations teams. Locomotives and carriages are painstakingly stripped down to bare metal and built back up again using traditional engineering methods. Parts are nigh impossible to find, so many are fabricated in-house or reconditioned to as-new quality.

The history of the railway will also be explained to you as part of your day out. There's almost always a museum on the platform too, packed full of memorabilia such as dining car menus, artefacts and old black and white photos from an age where the station master wore a top-hat and tails rather than a high-visibility jacket. Of course, you'll be welcome to ask all the questions you want and you're sure to find an answer with such knowledgeable hosts leading the event days.

Whether you get to ride on the footplate, change the signals or watch from the spare seat in the cab as the diesel driver shunts carriages around, we think you will love the day you spend at these wonderful heritage steam railways. And at last, you might just get the chance to realise that dream you had to drive a train.

© Into the Blue Activity Gift Vouchers Ltd, Biggin Hill Airport, Kent, TN16 3BN- Open Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6:50 PM,Saturday 9 AM to 3 PM
Contact Us: 01959 578100

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