The ultimate footplate experience day for any railway enthusiast or lover of steam is returning soon to The Bluebell Railway for 2024.

 Take part in a very special Footplate Taster Day where you are in control of one of our larger locomotives and your very own train!

Your day starts at 7 am and you join your crew and help prepare your locomotive for the day at Sheffield Park Shed. Savouring the sights, sounds and smells of a working steam shed, here you’ll get the chance to be introduced to your Bluebell engine crew and locomotive and be alongside the other crews and engines running that day before you head out onto The Bluebell Railway later that morning. You’ll also get your chance to sample an experience very few people are lucky enough to have experienced before, a behind-the-scenes look into how you prepare an engine and how it’s achieved. You will be part of that whole experience with this Super Footplate Taster Day!

After starting in the shed, you head into The Bessemer Arms for a Full English Breakfast at Sheffield Park at 9 am. (Extra guests are welcome, catering requirements can be booked in advance, and an additional fee is required for guest catering.)

After this, you then re-join your engine on the shed, and after coupling up with your allocated coaches, you’ll then take your train up to Horsted Keynes. Departing away from Sheffield Park at 10:30 am.  This is something that your guests (who can join you on this very special day) can enjoy as well as they travel on the train will be in control of!

You will have two return journeys between Sheffield Park & Horsted Keynes (broken up by a lunch break) During this experience, you will share it with another person and enjoy their Super Footplate Taster Day alongside them on the footplate. During this, you’ll both have the chance to take turns both driving and firing the locomotive along the beautiful High Weald that our railway runs through.

Lunch will be served once again at Sheffield Park around 12:45 pm and your day will finish off at 4:30 pm

This special experience is a real must for anyone who’s always wanted to be an engine driver or wanted their chance to join the footplate crew!

Price: £999.00 per person (Plus £1.95 booking fee)

Up To 10 Guests are allowed to join your special experience and ride on the train you will be driving and firing!

The course is designed for 4 Candidates for each day- each candidate will get to drive and fire between Sheffield Park & Horsted Keynes on the day.

Please note NO food or drink is included for guests, but purchase can be made from our catering outlets. 


To Find Out How The Day Will Be Structured- Please Click On This Link: ULTIMATE FOOTPLATE DAY ITINERARY

Participants must: 

  • Be aged at least 18.
  • Be reasonably fit and in good health – able to ascend and descend a ladder unassisted.
  • Wear suitable protective clothing, which covers arms and legs at all times. Clothing that may easily melt or catch fire if it comes into contact with hot surfaces/materials is not suitable (e.g. polyester/nylon). Gloves are also advisable.
  • Wear sturdy footwear.
  • Not attend the experience under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Read the Medical Standards and meet the standards required in the Medical Self-Assessment Questionnaire before being allowed to take part.

Please note

  • Participants will be required to complete a medical self-assessment questionnaire prior to taking part. Bluebell Railway reserves the right to cancel bookings were the participant fails to meet the required health standards.
  • Bluebell Railway reserves the right to reschedule a driving experience if the minimum number of participants booked on a specific day is not reached, or for any other reason.
  • The locomotives used for this experience are subject to availability.

Photos kindly supplied by James Cummins

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