Drive a train for a day – a real footplate experience!
The ultimate gift or the chance to live a childhood ambition!
You can drive a steam or diesel locomotive on the South Devon Railway under the watchful eye of our experienced footplate crews for a whole day on a dedicated train – and you can bring family and friends along too. It’s a truly unforgettable experience!
The SDR can make your dreams of becoming a train driver possible – with a Steam or Diesel Drive-A-Train day. to six guests, who will ride in the train, can come along absolutely free.
SDR Drive-A-Train days make a superb and memorable gift too. Simply contact us to book a date and we’ll send you a voucher.
You must be over the age of 18 years and be fit and healthy. You will need to wear old clothes and stout shoes. We will supply a dustcoat and gloves. All trains are, of course, subject to availability.
Drive-A-Train days take place on one of our steam or heritage diesel locomotives. Unfortunately we are not able to confirm in advance which locomotive will be in operation.
The Drive A Steam Train course lasts all day and will involve up to four participants, each of whom can bring a group of up to six guests.
Book on at Buckfastleigh at 9 a.m. for introduction and a safety talk. You will have chance to meet the crew. Once it is ready, the engine is coupled to your own special train and we’re ready to go. Two people at a time will travel on the footplate with the driver and fireman. Whilst one will experience what it is like to be a fireman, the other will take the regulator of a Great Western Railway steam engine.
The other participants travel ‘on the cushions’ with the guard to wait their turn. The four participants change over regularly during the day so that everyone has equal time on the footplate. After four round trips, your day will finish at about 5.00 p.m.
You will have a full day of action and enjoyment, during which you will make two round trips (28 miles) in the cab of one of our British Railways diesels over the full length of the South Devon Railway.
On one trip, there will be the chance to act as the driver’s assistant or second man. On the other trip, it is time to occupy the driver’s seat and take charge of the train.
Up to a maximum of five people can book. This helps ensure that everyone has plenty of opportunity to be actively involved in the day’s activities. In addition participants may be accompanied by a small group of up to six guests who will travel in the train.