Become a heritage train driver at the Severn Valley Railway

If you’ve always dreamt of driving a train you’ll want to head straight to the Severn Valley Railway this year to turn your wishes into reality.

The popular heritage line has launched a new, enhanced programme of steam and diesel footplate experiences, running from June to October.

Four different packages will be available, and each one includes tickets for up to 10 friends and family to travel on the train you’ll be driving.

Starting from just £400, including travel tickets for your 10 guests, the steam experiences will see you driving and firing one of the SVR’s locomotives, and include a safety briefing and detailed instructions and guidance from the experienced crew on the footplate. There are three levels of steam footplate experience - bronze, silver and gold - and the higher you go, the longer you’ll spend firing and driving.

The diesel footplate experience is £600 and will see you taking turns as ‘first man’ and ‘second man’, hauling a heavy train with up to 10 family members and friends travelling behind you. After your safety briefing, you’ll take a tour of the locomotive’s engine room, seeing the start-up procedure take place; then the journey begins.

You’ll spend 16 miles covering both the cab roles, plus a further 16 travelling in the rear cab of the locomotive, and the option to travel in one of the train’s carriages with your guests for a further 32 miles, to make a whole day of things. Each diesel footplate experience is limited to just four participants, and the experience also includes a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Diesel Depot in Kidderminster.

All four footplate experiences include photo opportunities and a presentation folder with a certificate and memento of your experience. Jan Wilkes recently took part in a steam footplate experience, along with her son Aaron and loved every minute of her day. She said:

“I have been a fan of steam locomotives as far as I can remember, but to actually take part in driving such a beautiful engine, I can’t put it into words! In fact I still think, did that actually happen? It was amazing. To experience the power of the engine as we went along was something else.

“The whole experience was way above any expectations I may have had. It was magnificent travelling along the tracks knowing that although under supervision I was actually driving the train. I even got to blow the whistle a couple of times!”

“Our footplate experiences run along the whole length of the line,” explained the SVR footplate co-ordinator Martin Bannister. “You’ll be passing some truly spectacular countryside, and believe me, there’s no better way to see it than from the cab of a heritage steam or diesel locomotive.

"You’ll pass through through Bewdley Tunnel, glide across Victoria Bridge and storm up Eardington Bank, on a journey you’ll never forget.”

For more information about the footplate experiences, and to book one of the strictly limited places, visit


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