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Train Driver Experiences

Have you always dreamed of driving of a real steam engine, or taking the controls of a powerful diesel locomotive? Why not tick something off your bucket list by booking one today and see the railway from a truly unique vantage point. Our experienced drivers will give you an education into the art of driving a locomotive!

All our packages are designed to offer a very unique experience which will be remembered for years to come.

Our 15″ gauge railway follows the route of the historic Cornwall Minerals Railway, later to become the GWR Newquay to Chacewater Branchline. Enjoy spectacular views as you drive through the Cornish Countryside and under Metha Bridge.

You can find more details below.

Both our half day, and taster courses include a personalised gift voucher emailed to you free of charge, and a certificate at the end.

We also have the opportunity to relive your driving experience with a unique video of your trip – please ask for more details.

If you’d like to find out more about our experiences, or check availability please email or call 01872 510317.

Half Day Course

Cost: £295 steam / £250 diesel

Availability: Most off peak days (enquire for availability)

Duration: 4 Hours (starting either at 09.30 or 12.00)

Meet your driver at either 09.30 or 12.00 where you will start with a brief safety induction. This will be followed by a walk around the locomotive, learning about the preparation required to go into service for the day.

You will then take the controls and work ‘light engine’ (without any carriges) for 2 full round trips of the railway, learning about the route and how the engine handles over the ever changing conditions.

You will then couple up to your own exclusive train for 4 round trips of the railway, where up-to four of your guests can attend and ride on the train driven by the you! The participant and guests will also get access to Lappa Valley for the day (please note the available activities may vary depending on the time of the year).

This course is ideal to share with someone else, be it friend or family and can be done so for just £35.00 for the additional participant.

Please note that all participants have to comply and sign the Indemnity form.

Taster Driver Experience Course

Cost: £175 steam / £150 diesel

Availability: Any dates that Ellie / Ruby /  City of Derby & City of Truro are in service.

Duration: up to 1.5 hours

Meet your driver and ride on the footplate for the last train of the day to collect the final passengers from East Wheal Rose. Get to know the locomotive whilst watching one of our qualified drivers operate the locomotive up the gradient and back down again. After arriving at Benny Halt, you will help the driver turn the locomotive, clean lubricate the engine before taking to the control and driving your own private train for two trips of the line where up to 4 guests can ride on the train that you are driving.

Please note that all participants have to comply and sign the Indemnity form.

Footplate Ride

Ride in the driver's cab alongside our engine driver for a real taste of life on the rails!

Cost: £20 (plus standard admission)

Availability: Selected days that Ellie/Ruby/City of Derby/City of Truro are in service.

Duration: One return trip.

Join the driver for a ride on the footplate of the steam or diesel locomotive where you are able to get a real unique perspective of the railway!

Please note that this is designed for people who are planning to spend the day with us and use the other activities, so you will need to purchase standard admission as well.

If you’d like to find out more about our experiences, or check availability please email or call 01872 510317.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there an age limit?

    All our driving experiences and footplate rides are available to people over 18 only. There is no upper age limit for any of our experience packages.

    Please note that our locomotives can only accommodate two people in the cab, one of which is the instructor.

  • Are people with disabilities able to take part?

    We want as many people as possible to enjoy our experiences, no matter their abilities. Therefore, we will try our best to accommodate participants with disabilities.

    Please give us a ring on 01872 510317 or email to chat further about your requirements.

  • What should I wear?

    You will need to wear sturdy footwear that fully protect your feet, and clothing that fully protects your legs. (man-made fibre clothing is not acceptable).

    As you would expect, there is a chance your clothing may get grubby, dirty and potentially damaged – so please bear this in mind when choosing what to wear.

Meet the Engines

We have a wonderful fleet of steam engines here at Lappa Valley, all with their own story and history behind them.

Opening Times & Prices

All the information you'll need on Lappa Valley opening times, admission prices and train timetables.

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