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Drive a Train at the East Kent Railway

East Kent Railway, Dover   

• Drive a diesel train on this Light Railway nr Dover
• Drive, set the points, open crossing gates & more!
• Undertake a return journey as train crew
• Invite friend & family to ride in the brake van

What's Included

• Exclusive 1:1 train driving experience
• Drive a Vanguard Class, Class 08 or Ex MOD 427 locomotive - loco type not guaranteed
• Welcome, introduction and safety briefing
• Set your route at the signal box
• Get to grips with the controls on a short practice session
• Drive the locomotive for a return trip to Eythorne
• Information and facts about the loco from your experienced instructor
• Invite up to 8 passengers to ride on the train while you drive
• Experiences last around 2 hours

What Can I Expect

The next departure from platform one on the East Kent railway is the train driver day! These experiences are totally hands-on. Not only will you be driving the ex-MOD diesel train, you'll be carrying out a whole roster of crew duties, making it an all encompassing, multitasking train driver experience.

The East Kent Railway Trust has worked hard over the years to create a fabulous railway. And before they set up their preservation society in 1985, there hadn't been a passenger service since late 1948. Goods trains did run on this small branch line though, but only as far as the colliery. So when that finally ceased production in the 80s, the Light Railway ground to a halt too.

A lot of blood, sweat and tears from a team of skilled enthusiasts over many years has put the East Kent Railway back on the map, with a base at Sheperdswell and a line that goes as far as Eythorne. Offering train driving on this East Kent line is a great way for fans to get properly involved as a team member for the day.

On your train driver experience you'll drive a return journey to Eythorne. But it's not just about driving at the East Kent railway. You'll be invited to assist with the coupling up of the brake van, set the points in the signal box before you set off and hop from the cab to open the gates across the road, before hopping back on to continue your train driving duties.

You'll also experience the highlight of the East Kent Railway; the Golgotha Tunnel, one of the longest in the south east, would you believe. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is the Kentish countryside as you gently head out of the valley. There's then a quick pause at the junction for the former Guildford Colliery to check the points, before entering Eythorne station, the terminus of the trainline. This is a proper half day shift as an East Kent Railway worker, carrying out all tasks!

These East Kent Railway experiences are the best way to explore and get a fabulous insight into a day in the working life of a preserved Light Railway. You'll be fully involved for the duration and it's one-to-one tuition in the driver's cab. What sets this train driver day apart is the fact that you can invite a select group of friends and family to ride in the brake van that you coupled your loco too! Brilliant stuff!


• Tuesday to Friday and some occasional Saturdays throughout the year
• Due to the popularity of this experience please book well in advance to avoid disappointment
• Morning and afternoon sessions are generally available


• East Kent Railway, Shepherdswell, Dover

Suitable For

• Minimum age 18
• Participants must have a good, general level of fitness and be able to climb up and down onto a locomotive without assistance


• Spectators are welcome at no extra charge
• Invite up to 8 passengers to ride on the train while you drive

Anything Else

  • Locomotives used for the experience are subject to change and specific locos can not be guaranteed
  • Suitable outdoor clothing and appropriate safety footwear should be worn
  • It is advisable to bring gloves


Average Rating 5
Total Reviews 8
Recommend to Friend 8
2 weeks ago
Fantastic experience!! Loved every minute of it. Man running it was so friendly and informative. Hoping I get another birthday gift of this again
last month
Superb day, knowledgable and friendly crew, highly recommended
5 months ago
A fantastic experience, having the railway to yourself for the morning or afternoon. Made to feel like part of the team, as was my wife who accompanied me in the brake van but also got opportunity to be in the cab and get involved. This was bought as a gift for me but great value for money and I was able to get involved in every aspect.
Nigel B
7 months ago
The experience of a lifetime. My friendly tutor-driver was so good. It was a pleasure learning about the locomotive, track and signalling from him. Will recommend the experience to anyone who shows an interest.
Godfrey Hawkes
about 4 years ago
Had a great day out at the East Kent Railway. Got plenty of time driving the train and learnt alot about the line and the locomotive. Would recommend this experience!
loco on track
Drive a Train at the East Kent Railway
Driver Experience
Total Price£259.00
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