You can now drive and fire a steam locomotive right here on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. These courses are proving hugely popular, with customers praising our friendly and informal approach.
On selected dates during 2013, the KWVR will be offering you the opportunity to drive a steam train on the famous Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and experience the thrill of being in control of a locomotive doing what it was designed to do, hard at work on the stiff gradients of the country's only complete heritage branch line.
The line passes through Haworth – famous for its connection with the literary Bronte family - and Oakworth - famous for its role in the film "The Railway Children" - on its way to Keighley where the Railway makes its connection with the mainline.
To be able to take part, you must be between 16 and 70 years of age and in good health. If you are older than 70, we are prepared to accept you provided you can provide us with a letter from your GP.
You'll need to wear stout footwear, boots (preferably steel toe cap) or walking shoes - not trainers - on the engine, but we shall provide you with overalls and gloves.
If you wish, you may bring up to four friends or family free of charge with you on the day.
What Does It Involve:
Your day will start at about 8.30 a.m. at the Railway's country terminus at Oxenhope, where you will be met by your host for the day.
After initial introductions to Railway staff and your fellow guests (and a welcoming cuppa!), you will be given a short safety talk and a simple introduction to how a steam loco works. By then, your train will have arrived and you will be introduced to your supervising driver and fireman, Welcoming you aboard, they will talk you through the loco's controls and how it all works, before you set off with your train for Keighley.
You will be one of four guests. Each guest will have the opportunity to drive one complete round trip, fire another and sample life at the back of the train as the guard for a third - your duties will be spread across the day. Between "turns" you can use the opportunity to reflect on and talk about your experience with your family and friends, or simply relax. The train will stop frequently at Haworth to enable family and friends to explore the attractions of the village should they wish. You may choose to do this too, or just sit back and watch the countryside go by for the "spare" trip.
After the second trip arrives back at Oxenhope, lunch will be provided for you and you will be given a short opportunity to relax before we set off again for the afternoon's two trips, arriving back at Oxenhope about 4.30 p.m.. Here, you will be given the opportunity to have a wash and be presented with a certificate by way of reminder of what, we hope, will have been a very enjoyable day. Should you wish, you can then go back to the shed at Haworth with the host and watch the loco being "put to bed" (and appreciate why the railways got rid of steam locos in favour of diesel and electric traction!) before bidding us farewell.
How Much Does It Cost:
£450 (inc VAT) per person, which includes:
- A full day's activities as driver, fireman and guard.
- A full year's membership of the KWVRPS, benefits of which include the Society's quarterly magazine, "Push and Pull",
- 3 free days travel and the opportunity to take part as an active member in the workings of the Railway.
- Buffet lunch for you and your guests.
- Souvenir certificate
Dates of operation:
Fri 8th, Mon 18th, Tues 19th, Mon 25th. Tues 26th March
Thurs 18th, Fri 19th April
Thurs 23rd, Fri 24th May
To book your place: Phone Haworth Station: 01535 645214 during normal office hours, when you will be asked to make a minimum deposit of £50 to secure your place.
Please Note: The Railway is operated by volunteer staff and for unforeseen reasons (loco failure for example) it may not be possible to operate on the day for which you have booked. Under these circumstances, you will be offered a full refund or the opportunity to re-book on another convenient day. Each place must be paid for in full at least 28 days prior to the day of the course. Failure to do so may result in the loss of your place. Deposits are non-refundable.