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Diesel Driving Experience

Cheddleton, Staffordshire   

• Drive a diesel train in Staffordshire for 12 miles
• In the cab of a Class 33 restored diesel loco
• A 1:1 experience with you & the expert in the cab
• See 'Little Switzerland' as you drive your train
Diesel Driving Course



What's Included

• One to one tuition aboard a heritage diesel locomotive without carriages
• You will cover 12 miles
• You will be on the footplate for approximately one hour
• Plenty of photo opportunities
• Personalised Certificate and complementary polo shirt

What Can I Expect

Drive a diesel train along the wonderful Churnet Valley Railway line! British Railways started building cleaner and more economical diesel-powered trains in the 1950s. Lightweight and adaptable, the diesel rail cars you can drive on these experiences were all built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, not far from this heritage line's base in Staffordshire.

A true labour of love, the wagons and trains you will climb aboard at the Cheddleton base have been restored by the army of volunteers between 1992 and 2004. We think the hard-working team has every right to be incredibly proud of what has been achieved, with the train gone from being on the diesel scrap heap to be driven by you and looking decidedly more photogenic now too, liveried up in a gorgeous dark green colour or classic BR blue.

To be more precise about your day out, you will most likely be driving a class 33 train. This class of diesel was in production between 1960 and 1962, with 98 locos being built in total. At the time they were quite innovative, being factory fitted with dual braking systems, namely vacuum and air. They were also capable of working in push-pull mode, where the trains run on a non-electrified section of railway line. All this fascinating info and more will be explained to you when you take on the 12 mile trip on a one to one basis with your expert driver.

And there is such a lot of history behind these locos! 'Sophie' retired in 1992 from the mainlines and she was sold by tender in 1993. After having her bogies replaced and an overhaul, she went back into service in 1997. A complete restoration was carried out in 2009 (covering everything from re-wiring and bodywork to new batteries and repainting) before being back in traffic in 2012.

'Captain Charles' is another class 33 who retired from service in 1996 after a long career. After being sold and run privately to pull charter and specialist services, he made his first appearance after restoration in 2010 and found his way to the Churnet Valley later that year. These are just two of the diesel trains that are in the fleet here in Staffordshire, with lots more stored, awaiting overhaul or repairs, including class 47s, 'Brightside', 'Tamworth Castle' and No6 Roger H Bennett to name but a few loco shed residents.

You will be heading out for your jaunt on the Churnet Valley Line that stretches 12 miles along the countryside they call 'Little Switzerland' in this part of Staffordshire. Every drive a diesel train experience is offered on an exclusive basis, so it will just be you and the experienced driver upfront in the cab, ensuring lots of hands on time actually driving the diesel multiple unit and learning what it was like to be a diesel train driver in the 1960s and 70s. And don't forget, your friends and family will be able to wave from the platform!


• This experience operates on selected dates throughout the year

* It is unlikely that experiences will be available during 2020. Vouchers purchased will be valid for 2021 or when normal services resume, if sooner *


• Churnet Valley Railway in Cheddleton, Staffordshire

Suitable For

• The minimum age is 18


• Friends and family are welcome to come along and watch the action

Anything Else

• Award winning tearooms serving a variety of food and drink
• Does not guarantee that trains will depart as stated and reserves the right to cancel or alter any trains without prior notice and change the motive power for whatever reason. No liability for loss, inconvenience or delay can be accepted
Delivery TypeDelivery TimePrice
Standard DeliveryEstimated 2-3 days - Most delivered next working day*£1.95
Weekly Special DeliveryGuaranteed next working day£7.50
Saturday Special DeliverySaturdays Only£11.70
European Delivery3 - 5 working days£4.50
Rest of World Delivery5 - 7 working days£6.50

All orders places before 4pm will be dispatched the same working day

* 93% delivered next working day

All orders are sent in plain packaging so as not to ruin the surprise.

standard gift pack
Premium Gift Pack

Premium Gift Pack includes a brushed metal steel tin which will hold your personalised gift voucher and a Company booklet. The Premium Choice.

(incurs a £4.99 shipping charge)

standard gift pack
Standard Gift Pack

Standard Gift Pack Comes with a Smart envelope,your personalised gift voucher and a Company booklet. The Personal Choice.

(incurs a £1.95 shipping charge)

standard gift pack

The Into the Blue E-Voucher is an instant email option,it consists of a personalised email and a pdf download of your personalised gift voucher.The Instant Choice


Vouchers are usually valid for 12 months from the date of purchase (unless otherwise stated) and shall become invalid on the expiry date. The expiry date is set out on the Voucher. Vouchers may be extended for a further 12 months on payment of an admin fee of £10 plus any increase that may have taken place for that activity since the original date of purchase. Please note that some Vouchers cannot be extended; this will be stated on the Voucher. PLEASE NOTE: You must book and take your experience before the before the expiry date of the voucher.
diesel train
Diesel Driving Experience
Diesel Driving Course
Total Price£350.00
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