Drive A Steam Engine

Footplate Experience

Footplate Experience days make great birthday, anniversary, retirement or Christmas presents, or a treat for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

When are courses held?

Courses are typically held on weekends, based on the availability of instructors. Weekdays may be possible. Courses do not run over Easter and Summer holidays as the railway is busy with passengers!

What is the minimum age?

Participants must be aged 18 or over.

Do I need previous experience?

No previous experience is required for the Standard Course, just an appreciation for the engineering and power of steam locomotives! All theoretical matters are dealt with as they arise, and you’ll be driving and firing a steam engine in no time!

The Advanced Course requires basic experience of managing and driving a steam locomotive, therefore Advanced Course participants must have completed the Standard Course within the last 2 years.

What should I wear?

Overalls are recommended as engine driving can be dirty work! Engines get very hot and gloves will be provided.

What happens if it rains?

Courses still go ahead in the rain (some say it adds to the fun!). Waterproofs are available in the event of wet weather. Alternatively, if the forecast looks bad, you can re-arrange the date of your course (subject to availability) if you provide at least 72 hours notice.

Is lunch provided?

Lunch and refreshments are provided. Please inform us of any special dietary requirements at least a week prior to the date of the course.

Where can I park?

When arriving at Moors Valley, follow signs to the golf course and park in the golf course car park. Please make a note of your car registration so your parking can be validated.

Is it one-to-one tuition?

The Standard Course operates on a two-to-one basis, so you may be sharing the day with one other participant. The Advanced Course is run on a one-to-one basis, so you'll have the engine to yourself for the entire day!

Please note that the Standard Course must be completed before the Advanced Course.

Will I be allowed to drive unaccompanied?

Although it is hoped you will be driving and firing unassisted by the end of the day, for safety purposes, the instructor will travel with you in the support coach at all times.

Will I be able to drive at Moors Valley Railway once I have completed the course?

The course is designed to give you an appreciation of driving a steam locomotive, but it is not a qualification to drive at Moors Valley or at any other railway. However, some participants have gone on to gain further experience through formal training and assessment and are now part time drivers at the railway.

What if I need to cancel or re-arrange?

Should you need to cancel or re-arrange your experience, please provide at least 72 hours notice. If less than 72 hours notice is provided, the booking may be void and unable to be re-arranged.

What happens after I purchase a course? / How do I give a course as a gift?

After purchasing the course, you will be emailed further information and a booking reference number which you can email or print off to give as a gift.

How do I book the date of the course?