DEMU 'Thumper' Driver Experience

Drive a Thumper!

Spa Valley Railway » Driver Experience!

The unique 1317 is available for you to drive!

Operating over the line even on the final day of operation in 1985, driving 1317 is certainly an experience to remember and you will be making history driving this unit on a line that it was built to operate on!

For just £375 you will be given the opportunity to drive our popular DEMU for a total of 10 miles from Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge and return. The experience will last approximately 1½ hrs as you drive the loco, affectionately known as a 'Thumper' to Eridge and return through the glorious High Weald countryside. 

DEMU Driver Experience does allow for up to three guests to travel on the train too! 

Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the experience starting!


  • Drive of Class 207 DEMU 1317 for 10 miles.
  • Spa Valley Railway Guidebook.
  • Presentation certificate.
  • A complimentary ticket for up to three guests to travel on 1317 during the experience. 

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 this experiences is for one participant only and we cannot accommodate any guests on these days.
  • 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!
  • We reserve the right to alter the contents of a driver experience without prior warning, the haulage of a train is not guaranteed for this experience.
  • We reserve the right to change locomotives without prior warning for whatever reason, this may be due to failure. 
  • Please make sure you arrive 30 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.

Booking information

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.

For our full refund, cancellations and alterations please see here.

Booking with vTicket