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Steam Footplate Driving Experience

Quick Details

Silver Experience Ages 18+
Gold Experience Ages 18+

Learn to Drive and Fire a Steam Locomotive a Typical Great Western Branch Line!

Important update: all dates for 2024 are currently sold out, please email us at or call us on 01594 845840 if you wish to be added to the waiting list for 2025.

Join us for our Steam Footplate Driving Experience! 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 they wish.

Silver Experience (13:00 – 18:00)

Your experience begins with tours of our workshop, engine yard and museum, before heading onto the passenger train for the last round trip of the day. On board you will be given a safety breifing by the coordinator, and learn about the line and its history. During the journey you will visit the recently reinstated Parkend Signal Box to learn about, and have a go at, signalling.

After returning from Parkend to Norchard you will be taken across to the footplate, where it’s time to drive and fire the loco! Along with the other participant you will take it in turns driving and firing throughout the full round trip of the line, taking you into the early evening. Afterwards you can stay a little longer with us and help the crew to bring the engine back into the yard and dispose of the fire.

You are welcome to bring friends and family along, and they may travel on both the last round trip passenger service of the day with you and also on the round trip when you are driving and firing. 4 guests are included free of charge, and any additional guests can purchase the ‘Steam Train Ride’ tickets for the last passenger train, and this will also cover travelling on the later train with you.

Gold Experience (09:30 – 16:30)

A full day experience at the railway, including a full trip driving and firing, as well as learning about and getting involved in many other aspects of operating a heritage branchline. The day is shared with five other participants, including three full round trips on the train, with a different pair driving and firing on each trip.

As with the silver experience, this includes up to 4 guests, who can travel on the brakevan while you are driving and firing, and join the passenger train throughout the rest of the day.