• An Introduction to Steam Train Driving
• Experience being the Driver, Fireman and Guard
• Join a group of 6 other participants swapping roles in pairs between Tenterden and Bodiam on the route
• Learn the basics of starting and stopping the locomotive
• Help to operate crossing gates and the locomotive 'run around' at Bodiam
• Return to Tenterden Town station for a ploughmans lunch
• Tuition from an experienced driver instructor
• Further trip over the whole line putting your newly learnt skills into action
• Certificate of achievement
• Discount voucher for the purchase of exclusive souvenirs and gifts
• Light refreshments are provided throughout the day
What Can I Expect
Time to go all nostalgic when you get to meet and work on a lovely steam train in Kent as part of the loco’s hands-on crew for the day. But first things first; at Tenterden Town station proceedings are kicked off in a very civilised fashion, with all guests meeting over a breakfast bap and copious amounts of hot steaming tea.
Your hosts will then lead a safety briefing to let you know the 'dos and don'ts' of being around the working steam locomotive trains that reside on the South Easts premier heritage line. Then you and your fellow guest drivers will head out onto the platform where you'll find your historic steam locomotive waiting for you, ready to rumble down the line.
The first job is to get the loco all stoked up and steaming. When you’re ready to depart, you'll be given tuition by the expert drivers on how to smoothly pull off. Now once you're rolling you will, of course, need to know how to stop, so you'll be shown how to brake in your multi-tonne steam train on this magnificent railway in the heart of Kent and Sussex. With expert tuition you'll soon be confident in simple driving manoeuvres (and remember it takes a lot of distance to bring a hefty steam locomotive to a halt!).
As you are part of a small group for the day, tasks will be rotated amongst the team. Everyone will get a go at firing, driving, guard duties and assisting with level crossings as you go on your first run of the day from Tenterden to Bodiam. On arrival at Bodiam there’ll be lashings of railway tea and time for photos, before you assist as the engine ‘runs around’ to couple back up to the carriages, ready to head back to Tenterden.
By the time you roll into the platform at Tenterden it’ll be time for a well-deserved lunch. After enjoying a tasty ploughman’s with your fellow railway crew, you head off on another outward and return journey on the line. This time you’ll be well versed in your various duties and the team will be working like a well-oiled machine to get the loco steaming beautifully along.
We think these experiences give you a real feel for life as a steam train driver, fireman and guard during the golden age of steam trains. Kent's friendliest heritage railway will welcome you with open arms and you'll really feel like part of the team for the day. Excellent fun, informative, hands on and all done in a convivial way, sign up now for the next departure from platform 1!
• Experiences run on selected weekdays from April to October, excluding August
• Participants shout arrive at 8.30am for a 9am start and finish around 5pm
• Minimum age 18 years
• Participants over 80 years old will need to provide a doctors certificate
• You should wear sturdy footwear and clothing that covers your arms and legs
• Participants need to be agile enough to climb the ladder into the engine cab and in the unlikely event of an emergency, be able to leave the footplate quickly and jump from height to the ground without assistance
• Friends and family are very welcome to visit however experiences usually operate on 'closed' days
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Your steam train adventure departs from Tenterden Station in Kent
You can choose from a range of Steam train experiences that we have available throughout the UK but, if you fancy a look at some alternative days out then take a peek at our home page for some great, and cheap experience day activities on offer right now.