Please note: we are currently unable to offer footplate experiences for the duration of 2022.
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 (you can bring friends and family if you like) and then we’ll 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.
Drive a steam train on the ELR and you’ll:
- Get a full safety briefing with the crew
- Drive and fire a steam train for 16 miles
- Guard and travel for 16 miles on a steam train
- Enjoy a hot lunch with the option to include friends and family*
- 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 and complimentary ELRPS membership
*Two guests allowed per participant. Extra charge of £10.00 per lunch and £5.00 per person for a guided tour.
Dates, times and prices
Our steam train footplate experiences typically take place on a Friday or a Monday. They last all day, starting at 8.30am at Bury Bolton Street Station and finishing back there at approximately 5.00pm.
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