• Drive a steam train experience lasting approximately eight hours
• Welcome briefing, introductory video
• Guided our of the loco works
• Visit to the signal box
• Lunch is included for the driver
• Personalised souvenir certificate
• 'Through the Window' guide book
• 12 months free membership of Friends of the Great Central Mainline membership to their supporting organisation
• You will form part of a small group of two participants for this experience and share the drive time
Bronze Experience: A 16 mile drive of a steam locomotive, train ticket and platform access for one guest.
Silver Experience: 30 mile drive of steam locomotive and carriages, train tickets and platform access for two guests.
What Can I Expect
This is where signals, stations and steam all combine on the famous Loughborough steam train! You will be invited to spend the day at the Great Central Railway - the UK's only double track heritage railway - and take up your position as driver for a thrilling round trip at the helm of one of the beautifully restored steam engines.
Loughborough station is where your steam train experience starts. You'll meet your crew for the day and chat over a hot drink and a bacon butty (the proper way to start a busy day of steam!). Now you can talk the talk, you'll need to look the part, as everyone knows a good navy blue cotton overall with a flat cap and a cloth in hand is the only way to go! Once kitted out you'll walk along the platform (which is like stepping back in time) to the briefing room.
After watching an introductory video and a safety briefing, you will be shown around Loughborough station. Seeing fully restored steam trains, visiting the working signal box and being shown around the extensive locomotive workshops staffed by skilled enthusiasts, we're sure you'll have loads of questions and the enthusiastic volunteers who work tirelessly at this railway will be only too happy to answer them all.
The main Loughborough site is a veritable dream for all steam train fans who've dreamt of having the chance to drive one of these incredibly nostalgic steam trains and the atmosphere here is truly lovely. You don't have to be a steam buff to enjoy these experiences - there's just something so magical about the puff and hiss of a fully stoked engine!
Then it's time for the highlight of the day - your chance to climb aboard the footplate of a full-sized mainline steam locomotive and drive it out of Loughborough station and back again. The mainline railway runs through some of the most beautiful countryside in the East Midlands (including the lovely Swithland Reservoir bridge) and calls at two further stations (Quorn and Rothley) before reaching the terminus at Leicester North.
Bronze Locomotive Driving Experience: It's full steam ahead as you and another customer then take charge of a steam locomotive with a footplate crew in support for a 16 mile round trip.
Silver Drive a Steam Train Day Out: The pressure mounts, the fire is glowing. You and another customer share responsibility of being in charge of one of Loughborough's superb steam trains with a full rake of carriages over two return trips of the mainline, a total distance of over 30 miles.
We're sure both of these Loughborough steam train sessions will leave you feeling chuffed to bits, with a childhood dream most definitely realised. And if your friends and family to join you, you have one travel ticket to give to a loved one with the bronze voucher and two on the silver and of course you can buy more rover tickets too to make it a family affair. A selection of alternative drive a train trips and excursions are available on our main train driving section, as well as a raft of special occasion gift ideas on our inspirational gifts section.
• The railway offers drive a steam train experiences between January and November
• Bronze experiences run most weekends
• Silver experiences on selected Mondays and Fridays
• Due to the popularity of these experiences, we recommend booking around six months in advance
• Participants must be over 21 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
• Experiences include guest platform access and passenger steam train tickets (one for Bronze, two for Silver) for spectators.
• Lunch is not included for spectators
• Other guests are welcome but must buy a platform and/or train ticket (£15 adult, £9 child).
• 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
• On Silver experiences guests may ride in carriages being driven by the participant
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Please note that as Bronze experiences do not haul carriages passengers tickets are valid for the scheduled passenger services in operation.
• Great Central Railway, Loughborough