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Steam Footplate Driving Experience

Quick Details

Adult Ages 18+

Spend a Whole Day Operating a Typical Great Western Branch Line!

Join us for our Branchline Experience! After an appropriate briefing and instruction, you join up to five other people as a team to spend the whole day actually operating and running the Dean Forest Railway, under supervision of qualified DFR personnel.

Course members do not need to have any particular skills to participate as guidance is provided, and each member is free to do as much (or as little) and he or she wishes. A wide range of facets of operation is contained in the day, including driving and firing the steam loco, taking charge of the train as guard, operating the signal boxes (including single line token instruments), stopping the traffic in Lydney as Crossing Keepers and, if you have the time, helping light up and clean the loco before duties in the morning and disposing of the loco in the evening.

There is also time to simply enjoy that extraordinarily intimate experience of standing on the veranda of the brake van next to the smokebox of the engine as you steam along the line through the magical medieval Royal Forest. Join a truly delightful and memorable experience.

You are welcome to bring friends and family along, and they may travel on the brake van, but they will be required to buy a travel ticket for the day to do so (this will also allow them to travel on the passenger train). Please note that children under 12 are not permitted to ride in the brake van.