• Drive a diesel locomotive, under professional instruction
• Welcome briefing with refreshments
• Introductory DVD
• Guided tour of the loco works
• Visit to the signal box
• Lunch is included for the driver
• Presentation certificate and 'through the window' guide
• 12 months free membership of Friends of the Great Central Mainline
• 2 round trips driving the loco (over 30 miles) both with carriages
• Free train ticket for two guests
• 4 round trips driving the loco (over 60 miles) with carriages
• You may share this experience with up to 7 of your friends
• Free train ticket for four guests
What Can I Expect
Rumble along the UK’s only double-track heritage mainline railway when you go diesel train driving in Leicestershire! This is your chance to step back in time to the era when steam locos were gradually being replaced by newfangled diesel-powered locomotives. Let the nostalgia of 1960s rail travel commence...
As well as being famous for steam, this renowned Leicestershire preserved railway does fine homage to diesel engines too. With a huge fleet of locos, the Great Central Railway rolling stock includes several operational diesel engines harking back to the late 1950s and early 60s, when steam was being fazed out in favour of diesel.
Of course, being a diesel engine driver with the Great Central Railway for the day means there’s lots to learn, so expect a full programme during your visit. First things first though. You’ll start with the ubiquitous mug of tea and then get changed into your dark blue driver’s jacket. After that, how long you spend learning how to drive the diesel loco depends on which Great Central voucher you opt for.
The ‘Notch 2’ diesel experience gives you the two return voyages along the full length of the picturesque GCR line, hauling passenger carriages both times. Then there’s the ‘Notch 3’. This is the ultimate diesel day out on this Leicestershire railway, giving you a whopping four return journeys up front in the driver’s cab. What's more, this experience can be shared amongst your friends.
On these experiences you’ll discover the likes of Class 25, 27, 31 diesel locos and classic BR Mk 1 design coaches, combined with four stations to explore along the line (each of which is themed to a different age, from Edwardian to 1940s, 50s and 60s). There are also lots of extra places to visit such as the engine shed, signal box, platforms buffets, shops and museums. We think you’ll agree, diesel train driving in Leicestershire is an action-packed day out on the rails you'll love.
• Experiences usually take place on a Fridays from April to October
• Due to the popularity of these experiences, we recommend booking well in advance
• Participants must be over 18 years of age
• You must be physically fit and be able to climb up into the engine cab
• No previous experience is necessary
• Drivers overalls are provided
• Customers are advised to wear stout footwear
• Lunch is not included for spectators or additional participants on Notch 3 experiences
• Other guests are welcome but must buy a travel ticket at a concessionary fare (currently £14)
• The station has a museum open to guests
• Guests may watch the driving from one of the stations and join in the tours and briefing
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• The Great Central Railway, Loughborough, Leicestershire