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Branch Line Goods

Take the Chance to Drive Thomas with our Wagons

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Sat 23rd Mar 2024

The Package

You will arrive at the Nene Valley Railway Wansford Station on either the morning or the afternoon of Saturday 23rd March and participate in a short tutorial about the driving of a steam locomotive by one of our resident drivers. You will then be given an insight into working a freight train from the perspective of a Goods Guard.

Once the theory is done and dusted the practical fun begins and you will make your way to the platform joined by five other customers, where Hudswell Clarke No 1800 ‘Thomas’ will be waiting for you. You will then put into practice all you have learnt as you get to drive a freight train from Wansford through the tunnel to Yarwell and then from Wansford to Sutton Cross, towards Peterborough. As an added thrill, you will have the opportunity to ride in a Brake Van, when not on the footplate of the locomotive, and learn the duties of a Guard handling your very own freight train. You will also have the chance to visit the historic Wansford Signal Box and witness the duties and responsibilities of the Signaller.

This course is limited to a maximum of 12 people (two groups of 6 people), so early booking is advised. You will have two opportunities to drive the locomotive as part of the session and will either drive to or from Yarwell and then either to or from Sutton Cross.

Because the locomotive is Thomas and we think this may appeal to families, each participant is permitted to bring one adult guest and up to two children for a ride in the Brake Van. Space on the Brake Van is restricted, but we will ensure your family are riding when you are at the controls. We regret that we will not be able to provide refreshments for guests, though the café will be open on site and other guests (aside from the one adult and two children) are welcome to join you on the day but will not be able to travel on the freight train.

For the first time we are offering this course on a standard running day, so you will be operating alongside the passenger service, which you and your guests may also like to buy tickets for.

The Costs

The whole package is priced at £210.00 per person. This includes light refreshment.


The working of a Heritage 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 participants under the age of 18 years. Sturdy footwear is essential such as shoes or boots. The environment of a locomotive can be a dirty place and so consideration should be given to clothing worn by participants as we will accept no liability for the damage to your best suit. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any protective equipment or clothing. 

And Finally

Our mission is to ensure that you enjoy the day 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 more info please email – enquiries@nvrwagons.co.uk