Have you ever wanted to drive a steam engine?

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 £395.00

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.

Friday 2nd March 2018 FULLY BOOKED
Saturday 3rd March 2018 FULLY BOOKED
Saturday 17th March 2018 FULLY BOOKED
Friday 6th April 2018 FULLY BOOKED
Monday 14th May 2018 **NEW DATE ADDED**
Friday 1st June 2018 FULLY BOOKED
Monday 4th June 2018 **NEW DATE ADDED**
Monday 9th July 2018 **NEW DATE ADDED**
Friday 7th September 2018
Friday 5th October 2018 FULLY BOOKED

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.


Dates. Choose from:
Friday 4th May or Friday 6th July 2018

Unique opportunity
Not only will you experience the thrill of firing and driving a steam engine under expert tuition, but you’ll also have the opportunity to do this with our unique goods train trundling along behind you!  (although we reserve the right to substitute the goods train for passenger stock if the goods train is not available).

There will be a cosy Guard’s van at the rear in which your guests may travel.  If the weather’s inclement, there’s a coal fired stove to keep your guests warm and dry.  First class it is not, but it’ll be an atmospheric journey to remember!

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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