Spa Valley Railway » Driver Experience!

Steam Driver Experience

Check back for 2020 dates

Welcome to our Steam Driver Experience page where you can book to live that childhood dream!

We are delighted to offer a variety of steam driving experience at the Spa Valley Railway, these range from driving the locomotive on its own over a short or long distance to hauling a rake of carriages along part of our railway.

Please note the Spa Valley Railway is not usually open to the general public on Steam Driver Experience days.

Light Locomotive Driver Experience

For just £250* per person we offer you the chance to drive one of our steam locomotives 'Light Engine' (on its own) under the instruction of one of our experienced drivers from Tunbridge Wells West to Groombridge and return, a distance of approximately 7 miles.

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 1/4 hours.

What's included:

We reserve the right to cancel or alter the dates listed if we do not receive enough bookings prior to the experience taking place due to the cost of running a steam locomotive. A full refund will be given. 

Please note that this experience is for one participant only. We cannot accommodate any other guests on the footplate on these days.

*Visiting locomotives may be subject to a higher charge for any driver experience. 

2020 Dates:
• To be announced

Full Day Driver Experience

For just £500 per person we offer you the chance to share the driving and firing of one of our steam locomotives with a rake of carriages from Tunbridge Wells West to Groombridge return, a total of 14 miles on the footplate of which 7 will actually be spent driving and 7 miles firing. A very unique opportunity to try both roles of the footplate crew.

Our full regulator is open to four participants per day, commencing at 10:00 from Tunbridge Wells West. Upon arrival at our station you will meet your host for the day in our ticket hall, and after an initial safety briefing is given, there will be a guided tour of our engine shed. As the time draws ever closer you will be taken to the locomotive and split into pairs, one pair going onto the locomotive and the other to the train. One pair will spend time on the locomotive driving and firing whilst the other pair spend time on the train with our Guard learning the role they have to play in the trains safety and you will even get the opportunity to wave the green flag too! 

What's included:

These experiences usually take place on selected weekdays throughout the year however due to the costs involved in using a steam engine a minimum of 3 must be sold to allow the experiences to take place so tell your friends! We reserve the right to cancel or alter the dates listed if we do not receive enough bookings prior to the experience taking place, a full refund will be given.

2020 Dates:
• To be announced

Private or Corporate Full Day Driver Experience

This experience is where you take control of the locomotive for the whole day. Priced at £1,999 and is only available upon request to our Coordinator here.

What's included:

This experience can be the ideal team building day or corporate event for your company so contact us today to discuss details and to book, meeting rooms and lunch can be provided if arranged in advance! This experience can for example be shared with up to 8 people, each driving for 3 miles of the line. 

We must sell a minimum number of steam driver experiences per time to justify their running so tell your friends, details of numbers above.

Please contact for any queries.

Terms & Conditions for Driving Experiences

Booking information

You MUST bring your physical printed or e-ticket with you on the day to show the locomotive crew. If you select an e-ticket please ensure you print it off and bring it with you on the day or have access to it on a mobile device, 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.

Click here to view our refund, cancellation and alterations policy

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