The Amberley Footplate Experience

The course will run on these dates if you want to come and see what it's all about but the course is sold out this year:

27 August 2017
17 September 2017

The price for 2017 remains at £190 per person. Next year's price is being considered at the moment.

With this year's course fully booked, we will be setting out the dates for 2018 shortly. If you would like to be put on our waiting list for next year then please get in touch - there is a contact link further down this page. Head your enquiry "Amberley Footplate Experience 2018) and we'll get back to you once the days are confirmed.

The Museum passenger train will also be steam worked on these dates.

We can accept two people on each course which means that you get a full day on the footplate with the driving and firing divided equally between the two trainee drivers. This includes practice runs up and down the industrial railway and then some real train operation on the "main line" before and after lunch. You will be driving "Peter", our Bagnall 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive, works No. 2067, built in Stafford in 1918.

You can get an idea of what is involved by checking the photographs and video links further down this page. We hope you like what you see and will join us for the driving course with that little bit of difference.

and we'll get back to you.
(The enquiry page will open in a new window).
Alternatively, you can phone us on 01798 831370.

Still not convinced? Watch this:

Here is a another short video of the course shot in August 2013

One of our course particiants in 2012 had this to say afterwards:-
"This was a proper driving course with backwards, forwards, gradients and curves. Shunting loose-coupled freight and running the engine round the train kept me on my toes but with the instructor at my side, my confidence rapidly grew throughout the day. Mainline engine driving must be dull in comparison!"
(Neville Quick).

Heather & Peter Foster (pictured with course tutor, John Stanton) had this to say:

My wife and I fulfilled the ambition of driving and firing a locomotive on our visit to the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre in 2012. Friendly and expert guidance and tuition from Rod and John stood us in good stead for the day’s train operation which took the form of our locomotive ‘Peter’ hauling the freight train pathed in between the day’s passenger train services. Superb scenery, interesting trackwork, delightful stations and a fascinating locomotive contributed hugely to our enjoyment of the day. But above all it was the warm welcome we received and the friendly companionship of the team throughout the day made it really special. The Amberley Footplate Experience is to be warmly recommended.

Ross Fisher who took the course on Sunday 9 June says:

Thanks to all the staff at Amberley museum for a great day on the footplate experience course. John the instructor started of the day with a brief safety chat, then attention is turned to "PETER" the locomotive. After lubricating the motion gear and axle boxes we were soon out on the industrial railway for some practice and then onto the mainline.
I loved driving the loco and John's tuition was perfect. The course is excellent value - I still can't believe I've driven a steam locomotive.
Many Thanks

This from Paul Garrett:

It was my first ever experience driving a steam loco and I really enjoyed it. You have a very good group of men there doing the teaching who made it fun but also made sure everything was done safely. I apologise to you all for the rather rattly ride you had when I was driving.
I would recommend the day to anyone and it was worth every penny.

And from Eric Hands, who did the course in early June 2016:

What a great footplate experience day I enjoyed at Amberley ! Despite only half an hour's sleep the night before, I found myself wide awake and engrossed within the first few minutes. The instructors were superb, great fun and very patient. This is one experience that I will always remember. Thanks again 10/10 !!

John Harraway took the course on 7 May 2017 and says:
I just wanted to thank you and all your colleagues for a very interesting and enjoyable day on the Amberley Museum Footplate Course. The course is well-organised and run in an informal and friendly way. Necessary formalities are kept to a minimum and participants are soon at the regulator of a fully operational narrow-gauge steam locomotive. Add to this pulling a goods train on the main Museum line and you have a totally absorbing and fulfilling experience.

If you still can't make up your mind and want to see what to expect (it's really not that scary, honest!) you could visit us on one of the course dates, watch what goes on and then book your place, of course. The folk in the office will be pleased to take your booking (and your money!).

You can download a copy of the full Terms and Conditions for the course here. It also covers a short history of the locomotive "Peter" which is used for the course.

You can have a quick look at the course in action
Click Here
Click Here

© Gerry Cork & Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre - July 2017
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