Welcome to our Diesel Driver Experience page where you can book to take control of powerful locomotives!
We offer three types of diesel driving experience at the Spa Valley Railway, Bronze 'Notch 1', Silver 'Half Power' and Gold 'Full Power', the titles of our experiences so called after various driving positions on a diesel locomotive. On certain special events we also run Driver for a Fiver or Driver for a Tenner, which are undertaken at Eridge or Tunbridge Wells West respectively so you can try your hands on one of our diesels.
Bronze Experience - 'Notch 1' One return trip to Eridge and return.
For just £200 per person we offer you the chance to drive one of our diesel locomotives 'Light Engine' (on its own) from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge & return, a total of 10 miles driving.
You will start your visit at Tunbridge Wells West, please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown on the ticket, your experience will last for approximately 1 1/2hrs.
Drive of the diesel locomotive from Tunbridge Wells West to Birchden Junction & return on its own, approx 8 miles driving.
Spa Valley Railway Guide book
These experiences usually take place on selected weekends throughout the year. Please note that bronze experiences are for one participant only and we cannot accommodate any guests on these days.
Silver Experience - 'Half Power' A whole return journey along the Spa Valley Railway with carriages!
For just £375 we offer you the chance to drive on of our diesel locomotives for 10 miles from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge and return hauling a short rake of carriages. The experience will last approximately 1 ½ hrs as you drive the locomotive to Eridge and return through the glorious High Weald countryside. After your experience, you will be presented with a commemorative certificate of your drive.
Times available: 09:45, 11:15, 13:45, 14:15, 15:45 & 17:15.
Drive of a diesel locomotive, ranging from Class 09, 10, 31, 33 & 73 for 10 miles.
Spa Valley Railway Guide book.
Complementary ticket for one guest to ride on the train.
A journey in the train hauled by the diesel locomotive before or after your experience.
Commentary ticket for the participant and guest of participant to travel on any Spa Valley Railway train in use that weekend.
This experience is not shared with anyone, it is just you under our instruction driving the locomotive for 10 miles!
Gold Experience - 'Full Power' A whole day driving to yourself!
This is where you take control of the locomotive for the whole day, this is priced at £999 and is only available upon request to our General Manager here.
Driving of the diesel locomotive from Tunbridge Wells West to Groombridge & return with carriages, approx 28 miles driving**.
The full preparation and disposal of the locomotive
Spa Valley Railway Guide book
Guided tour of our Engine Shed at Tunbridge Wells West
Visit to Groombridge Signal Box
Complementary ticket for up to four guests to ride on the train.
**This experience can be shared with up to 8 people, each driving for 3 miles of the line.
Gold experiences can be the ideal team building day or corporate event for your company so why not contact us today to discuss details and to book? Meeting rooms and lunch can be provided! Go on, what better way is there to develop teams and working relationships!
Please note the following/terms and conditions applicable to ALL Driver Experiences:
Participants must be aged 18 or over and in good health.
All steam or diesel locomotives and units are subject to availability.
Please note that bronze experiences are for one participant only and we cannot accommodate any guests on these days, guests can be accomodated on silver or gold experiences.
You or the participant must be able to climb a 6ft vertical ladder to gain access to the locomotives footplate.
You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Non-flammable clothing that covers both arms and legs plus strong footwear are required.
We recommend a boiler suit and steel toe capped boots.
The Spa Valley reserves the right to cancel or suspend a driver experience if the participant is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or is seen to be physically not fit enough to undertake the experience.
Please do bring a camera if you wish!
The haulage of a train on a silver or gold driver experience is guaranteed.
Please make sure you arrive 15 minutes prior to your experience commencing.
Locomotives or units are all subject to availability, they are over 50yrs old and so from time to time suffer failures, we therefore reserve the right to alter the locomotive used on any driver experience be it steam or diesel.
You MUST bring your physical printed or e-ticket with you on the day to show the locomotive crew, therefore if you select an e-ticket please ensure you print it off and bring it with you on the day.
You must also adhere to our terms & conditions and wear the correct clothing/boots for the experience.
Note that a £10 admin fee applies to all booking alterations.