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Train Driving Experiences



    • Drive a Churnet Valley Railway steam train
    • Toplink, Regulator & Cauldon Lowe courses offered
    • Drive for 12, 23 or 41 miles of this Staffs track
    • Includes a Churnet Valley polo shirt & certificate
    • Drive a steam train day from Tenterden in Kent
    • Be the driver, fireman and guard during your day
    • Assist with operating the gates and a 'run around'
    • With breakfast, lunch & all the tea you can drink
    • Spend the day at the Great Central Railway, Leics
    • Visit the signal box, engine shed & workshops etc
    • Be on the footplate for a 16 or 30 mile round trip
    • Drive with rake of carriages on Silver Experience
    • Drive a restored steam loco in South Yorkshire
    • Shovel the coal as fireman & drive too
    • Choice of one or two hour driving experiences
    • You will drive a loco without coaches attached
    • Ride on the footplate of a steam train in Staffs
    • Watch firing the furnace, working levers & valves
    • Churnet Valley run is 10.5 miles
    • Cauldon Lowe run is 26 miles inc a 1 in 61 gadient
    • Unlimited travel on Bluebell heritage railway for two
    • Pair of tickets to National Trust Wakehurst Place
    • A full day out of steam locos & gorgeous gardens
    • Bluebell line links to mainline at East Grinstead
    • Drive a diesel locomotive in Yorkshire
    • The train drive takes place at Elsecar Railway
    • Invite a guest to join you in the train's cab
    • A steep hill start challenge to get you going!
    • Drive diesel engines at the Great Central Railway
    • The UK's only heritage dbl track mainline railway
    • Various diesel driving packages to choose from
    • Drive, visit a signal box, work sheds & have lunch!
    • Ride in a Diesel Mechanical Multiple Unit
    • A 21mile round journey on Kent & E Sussex Railway
    • Time to visit the on site Colonel Stephens Museum
    • Get a train driver's view of the railway line
    • Drive a 5/8th scale steam loco in Nottinghamshire
    • The Sherwood Forest Railway - a family concern
    • You will be a VIP for the day driving the train
    • The current 15" gauge line is 1-mile long
    • Drive trains on this Light Railway near Dover
    • Drive, set the points, open crossing gates and more!
    • 2 return journeys on 1/2 day, 4 returns on full day
    • Feel like part of the train crew for the day
    • A unique Sentinel steam engine driving experience
    • Take on the roles of driver & 'fireman'
    • The only Sentinel driving experience in the UK
    • Tackle the 1:37 gradient on the Coalfield Line
    • Ride the East Somerset Railway in Cranmore all day
    • Standard (min 2 people) and family rover tickets
    • Hop on and hop off between Cranmore & Mendip Vale
    • Visit the museum, engine shed, signal box etc
    • A rover ticket for the Churnet Valley main line
    • Ride on this Staffs railway all day long
    • Explore Caldon Canal, River Churnet & Lime Kilns
    • Adult, child and family tickets available
    • Access all areas day at Kent & East Sussex railway
    • Guided tours of engine sheds, workshops etc
    • Visit the signal box, watch locos taking on water
    • Includes lunch at Tenterden station restaurant
    • Ride up front in the cab of a diesel train
    • A return journey along the full length of the line
    • Takes place at the East Kent Railway nr Dover
    • Your chance to sound the horn of the loco!
    • Drive a steam train for four, full return journeys
    • Driving steam trains pulling passenger carriages
    • Share the driving with your friends and family
    • Become a member of the train crew for the whole day

Get to drive a steam train and realise those childhood dreams

It was probably the dream of every youngster - to be a driver of one of these amazing locomotives. Maybe you loved Thomas the Tank Engine, preferred Ivor the Engine or were a number fan of Hornby? Judging by the popularity of heritage railways, it would seem the enthusiasm for these amazing machines 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 experienced 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, as you see from this video of a client on their drive a train experience day.

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 of a train for the day, you might 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!

Immerse yourself in steam locomotive history for the day

On the vast majority of these steam train locomotive driving experience days, you also get to have a nosey around the workshops. 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. And all 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.

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