Swindon &
Cricklade
Railway

Steam & Diesel
Driving Experience

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The Swindon & Cricklade Railway offers Driving Experiences for those who would like to take the controls of a steam or diesel locomotive.

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We are now able to offer four different Steam or Diesel Driver Experience courses at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.
Please note that all Driving Experiences this year will be scheduled for a Monday - see notes on 'Booking Driving Experience' below.


Steam Taster

This course provides a great opportunity to drive a steam locomotive for the first time. The course is two hours long and has a maximum participation of four people. You will be given expert tuition on how to drive a steam locomotive over the section of line from Blunsdon through Hayes Knoll.
Two sessions each day - 10am - 12 noon and 12:30 - 2:30pm
Max. No participants per session: 4
Course fee - £150 per person


Diesel Taster

This course provides a great opportunity to drive a diesel for the first time. The course is two hours long and has a maximum participation of four people. You will be given expert tuition on how to drive over the section of line from Blunsdon through Hayes Knoll.
Two sessions each day - 10am - 12 noon and 12:30 - 2:30pm
Max. No participants per session: 4
Course fee - £85 per person


Steam Branch Line Passenger Link

This is for the more ambitious driver. Your day will start at 10am and you will be in charge of our passenger coaching stock running between Hayes Knoll, Blunsdon and Taw Valley Halt, and will be stopping at all stations as our normal service would do. As the coaches will be empty you can transport your friends and relatives in style, in the luxury of the coaches, while you drive and fire the locomotive.
Max. No participants: 4
The start time is 10 am till 3 pm (with a break for lunch)
Course fee - £300


Diesel Branch Line Passenger Link
This is for the more ambitious driver. Your day will start at 10am and you will be in charge of our passenger coaching stock running between Hayes Knoll, Blunsdon and Taw Valley Halt, and will be stopping at all stations as our normal service would do. As the coaches will be empty you can transport your friends and relatives in style, in the luxury of the coaches, while you drive the locomotive.
Max. No participants: 4
The start time is 10 am till 3 pm (with a break for lunch)
Course fee - £170


Booking Driving Experience
Please email us with
(1) Your name and postal address.
(2) Your contact phone number.
(3) the name of the person who will be receiving Driving Experience (either yourself or someone who is receiving it as a gift).
We will then confirm the available dates and cost. Once we have received payment, we will issue a voucher in the name of the person concerned. Vouchers are issued as quickly as possible, but please allow up to ten days from recipt of payment to receipt of voucher.
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book Driving Experience?
Details are included at the foot of this page.

Age and fitness. Those taking Driving Experience must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants are reminded that reasonable levels of ability are necessary, so please contact us if there are issues you would like to discuss.

How long do you drive for?
This depends on which course you choose. You will generally do one round trip driving and then one firing and then one riding on the train or you can use the time to have a quick look around the railway. This depends also on the number of participants on the day.

Is there anything else included?
Yes. A certificate acknowledging your driving achievement for the day and a hot lunch and a cup of tea in the restaurant. Your friends and family can join you for these refeshments at a small extra cost. Friends and family book and pay for their refreshments on the day.



Friends and family members

Please note that, to comply with UK train and locomotive operating rules, only the qualified staff operating a locomotive and those under their instruction may be present on a moving locomotive. This precludes friends and family from riding in a locomotive cab, although they are welcome in the carriages comprising a train (i.e. Branch Line Passenger Link experiences).
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