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Western Goods Driver Experience

Drive and Fire a Steam Locomotive pulling a Goods Train

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Goods Freight Driver Experience Course

Steam Locomotive GWR Pannier Tank

Friday 6th March

The Package

You will arrive at the Nene Valley Railways Wansford Station for either a morning or afternoon session on Friday 6th March 2020 and participate in a short tutorial about the driving and firing of a steam locomotive by one of our resident steam drivers. You will then be given an insight into working a freight train from the perspective of a Freight Guard.

Once the theory is done and dusted the practical fun begins and you will be able to put into practice all you have learnt as you get to drive and fire a freight train over part of our 7 1/2 mile line. As an added thrill, you will have the opportunity to ride in the Brake Van when not on the footplate and witness the Guard handling your very own freight train. Once you’ve finished with the train you will have the opportunity to visit Wansford Signal Box and witness the duties and responsibilities of the Signalman on duty.

There really is no better experience to be in charge of a Good Train as you power along with the wagons clattering behind you and the iron road stretching out ahead.

This course will begin at 8.30am for the morning and 12noon for the afternoon sessions with the theory. The practical element will start shortly after this. Each participant will have at least half an hour in total on the footplate, split into two turns, possibly more depending on the popularity of the course and timings on the day.

The course is limited to a maximum of 16 people (8 in the morning and 8 in the afternoon), so early booking is advised.

Each participant is permitted to bring a guest to ride in the Brake Van and other guests are welcome but will not be able to travel on the train due to limited space.

The Cost

The whole package is priced at £120.00 per person.

This includes light refreshment in the form of either a breakfast bap or light lunch, and also a memento of your time with us.


The working of a Steam Railway is physically demanding and so a reasonable level of fitness is required to participate in this course.

On the grounds of health and safety we unfortunately cannot accept any participants under the age of 18years.

Sturdy footwear is essential such as shoes or boots, but overalls and gloves will be provided.

The footplate of a steam locomotive is a dirty place and so consideration should be given to clothing worn by participants as we will accept no liability for damage to your best suit!

Whilst we would never seek to discriminate on the ground of disability, it is an unfortunate fact that the footplate of a steam locomotive is not suitable for those in a wheelchair or on crutches. Minor disability would not necessarily preclude you from joining us for the course, but if you’re unsure please ask…we’re a friendly bunch!

The locomotive for the course will be Great Western Pannier Tank No 6430. Please be aware that this locomotive may be subject to change at short notice and we cannot be responsible for this due to the nature of Steam Locomotives regarding any last minute failure.

And finally…

Our mission is to ensure that you enjoy the experience and get the most out of it. You will be coached through everything you do and never be left to fend for yourself. If driving a freight train has always been your dream, then we can make it a reality.

If you have any questions or queries either prior to booking, after booking, or on the day then don’t hesitate to ask.

For enquiries and bookings

Please call – 01780 784444 or email – nvrwagons@gmail.com



Paul Foxwell Express Freight Fund Click here to donate

Our current main project, "Express Freight", aims to restore most of the railway's extensive collection of 1950's box vans, which ran at faster speeds and were often hauled by glamorous passenger locomotives as well as mixed-traffic and freight designs. The NVR is the only heritage railway in the UK where a realistically long block train of these vans can be recreated, as over twenty of these vehicles are based at our railway



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Fri 6th Mar 2020