Drive a Steam Train

Drive A Stream Train

Bring your childhood dreams to life as you step onto the footplate of a full-sized, fully operational heritage steam train and take control of the magnificent engine.

A steam train driving experience on the East Lancashire Railway is exactly that. Your chance to drive a real, historic steam train. You’ll learn all about the engineering and controls, spend time practising with our current drivers, firemen and firewomen, and then become a part of the crew yourself.

During this hands-on, intensive, full day experience, we’ll take you behind the scenes on the ELR, showing you places that the general public never gets to see.

You’ll enjoy a hot lunch before or after we put you behind the controls of one of our heritage steam engines to fire, guard and drive the train yourself.

Book this once in a lifetime steam train driving experience – an extra special treat for yourself or an unforgettable gift for a loved one.

What’s included

Drive a steam train on the ELR and you’ll:

  • Get a full safety briefing with the crew
  • Drive a steam train for 8 miles
  • Fire a steam train for 8 miles
  • Guard for 16 miles on a steam train
  • Your guest if booked will travel and enjoy the view as a passenger for the 16 mile round trip.
  • Enjoy a hot lunch*
  • Join a half-day guided tour behind the scenes of the East Lancashire Railway
  • Have plenty of wonderful photo opportunities
  • Take home a commemorative certificate
  • You are more than welcome to add a guest to join you to travel onboard the carriage, join you at lunch and attend the guided tour.

*One guest allowed per participant. Extra charge of £25.00 includes riding on carriage during participants tour, lunch and guided tour of our sheds.

Dates, times and prices

Our steam train footplate experiences last all day, starting at 8.30am at Bury Bolton Street Station and finishing back there at approximately 5.00pm.

Date Book Now
Friday 1 March 2024 Book Now
Friday 19 April 2024 Book Now
Friday 7 June 2024 Book Now
Friday 6 September 2024 Book Now
Friday 1 November 2024 Book Now

The fine print

If you’re considering our Drive a Steam Train experience, please make sure you read all the details here. A footplate experience can be a labour intensive experience and we want you to enjoy every part of it.

Read our terms and conditions

If you have any questions, just shoot us on email on

2024 Dates

Our steam train footplate experience typically takes place on a Friday. They last all day, starting at 8.30am at Bury Bolton Street Station and finishing back there at approximately 5.00pm.

Friday 6 September

Friday 1 November

Priced at £645 per person.

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