Steam trains are a mixture of timeless romance and raw mechanical power, just like me, in fact 🙂
I’ve found some brilliant experiences, where you can actually get onto the footplate and drive a steam engine. if you’re looking for steam train journeys, you can find them here.
Alasdair’s recommended ‘drive a steam train’ experience gift
I selected this steam train gift because it’s a nice detailed itinerary at an unbeatable price. Buy now before the price goes up.
The thundering engine, the roaring fire and the deafening hiss of steam. It’s not for the faint hearted, but to some people, this is what they’ve been dreaming of all their lives. From the boyhood excitement of witnessing the awesome power of a steam engine at full pace, this is the closes many will get to being a real life train driver.
What happens when I’m driving a steam train?
The content and depth of each experience obviously depends on the price you pay. Taster sessions are light on actual driving time, but you’ll still get on the footplate and make the train move. The full day experience cost £300 and over, but that’s where you get the real in depth time devoted to driving the train. It depends how much you want to pay, but on all the experiences you’ll get the basics:
What you WILL be doing
- Learning each of the individual jobs involved in driving the train, from loading coal onto the fire to tooting the horn.
- Driving the train down a private track
- Talking to likeminded people who really love trains as much as you do.
- Finding out exactly how the engine works
- Getting sooty, hot, sweaty and tired. But that’s part of the fun
What you WON’T be doing
- Zooming through the countryside for hours on end
- Picking up passengers
- Driving the train on your own
Compare the cheapest and most expensive experiences. Which should I buy?
If you can afford it, I’d certainly pay more. You see, you really get what you pay for when you’re talking about a steam engine. The majority of your money will go to funding time in the train, so as a basic rule, the more you pay, the bigger the train, the longer you will have in the train and the more immersive your experience will be.
Let me give you an example: The gift I’ve recommended is an entire day in a full size steam train, along with a tour of the station including the signal box. The ‘taster’ days are still fun, but they’re on a narrow gauge railway, maybe half the size of a full, commercial steam locomotive, and you only get an hour on board. Both are fun for a railway enthusiast, but you can see that you get plenty of extra excitement by paying more.
What’s the best price for these experiences?
These trains are really popular so time on the experience is limited, but you certainly get a feeling of what it’s like to be a real steam train driver.
There are quite a few experiences available for driving steam engines. Here’s a run down of the best prices in the UK to buy today
So what are you waiting for? Buy my recommended experience – it’s really the best, and enjoy a day on the rails.