Footplate Experience Course  

We have attempted to answer the most frequently asked questions below, but
if you have any further queries these can be answered at the time of booking.


Would you like to drive a steam engine? Courses are held
on Saturdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The emphasis is
practical instruction and tuition - there is no ‘classroom’ session
and all theoretical matters are dealt with as they arise. The
general public cannot travel on these trains for safety reasons,
but up to six family members may be invited and have a free
ride with the participant.

A certificate will be awarded to each attendee following
completion of the course. No prior knowledge of steam
locomotives is expected or required from the course attendee.
The cost of the course for 2019 is £150 payable in advance and
includes a buffet lunch and tea/coffee at intervals throughout
the day. Come with a friend and receive a 10% discount when
booking together.

Will I need to bring any
special clothing?
No; although a set of overalls and sturdy boots are recommended. Engine driving can be dirty work. Gloves will be available and a set of waterproofs will be provided in wet weather.
Is there an age limit?
Yes; attendees must be over 18 years old.
How many can attend
each course?
Numbers are limited to two persons per course to ensure that each attendee receives
as much personal tuition as possible.
Will I be allowed to drive unaccompanied?
No; 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 the Moors Valley Railway once I have completed the course?
No; the course is designed to give you an appreciation of driving a steam locomotive and is
not a qualification to drive here or at any other railway. However, since we started these courses, some of the attendees have gained further experience and are now part time drivers
on the railway.
Can I book a course on behalf of someone else?  
Yes; why not give a present that is a little bit different for that special occasion? Purchase this gift experience as a voucher valid for twelve months from date of purchase. The recipient then books their experience directly with us.
When are courses held?
Usually on Saturdays at any time of the year , except during special events on the railway, such
as the Summer Steam Gala. There are no set dates. These are arranged to run at mutually
acceptable times for the instructor and attendees.
How do I book?
To book please ring: 01425 471415, or email: or visit us in person at the railway shop.
Course Itinerary-All times are approximate
9.30 am Introduction to your instructor, inspection of your locomotive and explanation of the controls.
9.45 am Assist in the preparation of locomotive watering, fire lighting, steam raising and lubrication. Light locomotive movements away from main line to gain familiarisation with the controls. Instruction on
safety procedures and signalling (BR signalling practice is strictly observed at Moors Valley Railway).
11.30 am Attach coaches and join the main line. Each attendee will complete a number of circuits of the line accompanied by the instructor travelling immediately behind the driver in the support coach, which is fitted with an instructor/driver brake system.
1.00 pm Buffet lunch and review of the morning session.
1.30 pm Resume with running and receive further instruction as required.
4.30 pm Return to engine yard and assist with disposal of fire.