Have you ever wanted to drive a steam engine?

New! We’re now offering Footplate Experience courses where you will be guided through how to drive an engine and have a go for yourself.

We run over the full line and pull a complete service train, rather than just driving the loco only..

The  experience will include:

  • an introductory booklet
  • safety and technical session (classroom)
  • guided tour of the engine
  • a 9 mile trip firing the engine.
  • a 9 mile trip driving the engine
  • a year’s free membership
  • a certificate of participation
  • spaces on the train for your family

– Only £350.00

Fireman Roger Sinar takes over the tuition, beginning with a concise but enlightening demystification of the controls and gauges.  For a newcomer, learning about the fireman’s roles will be quite an eye-opener.  Shovelling aside, pupils will gain a good understanding of what’s involved, a more in depth knowledge of the engine’s workings, and maybe get to hear some priceless anecdotes too.

Richard Hampson

Sub Editor, Steam Railway Magazine


Please make your booking and choose your preferred date.  We will contact you to confirm your place on the course or discuss alternative dates.

Saturday 25th March 2017 FULL
Friday 28th April 2017 FULL
Friday 26th May 2017 FULL
Friday 30th June 2017 FULL
Friday 21st July 2017 FULL
Monday 21st August 2017 FULL
Monday 18th September 2017 FULL
Friday 29th September 2017 FULL

All 2017 dates are now fully booked.  We’ll add further dates on here (probably all in 2018) as soon as they are known.  For general availability enquiries add your name to our newsletter list at the bottom of the page.  If you purchase a gift voucher to cover the cost of the Footplate Experience in advance, then we’ll contact you as a priority as soon as the dates are known.

You are welcome to buy a gift voucher from us to cover the cost of the Footplate Experience.  We will send you a lovely Gift Voucher and Footplate Experience leaflet to gift to the lucky recipient, who can then select from whichever dates are available to suit themselves!

Alternatively, use our generic Contact Form if you have a specific enquiry.  Please note all participants must read, understand and agree to be bound by the terms & conditions.

Hi Doreen,

I would just like to say what a wonderful time we had on the Footplate Experience last Friday! Everyone we met involved with the railway was really pleasant and helpful, and made us all feel really welcome – from yourself on the admin side, through to John Beesley and the wonderful  Roger Sinar (I could not believe he started work in 1955!) on the footplate, to our station master / guard and the lady in the cafe, who gave us tea and coffee, and befriended our dogs!  The driving / firing experience was superb, and the instruction excellent.  I could do it all again in September!  It’s a little bit of a trek for us from Tyneside, but I am sure we will be back to some of your other events.  Whilst I got to say “thank you” on the day to John and Roger, do please pass on our thanks to everyone else involved!  I would recommend the experience to anyone with an interest in steam railways.

Best regards,

Ian and Mary
(+ Portia and Maebh, the terriers!)

Book your Footplate Experience Course Now! (pay after form completion)



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