Ride upfront on a footplate experience in Staffordshire and see what the track looks like from the working end of the train! These two fabulous packages give you the chance to climb up onto a fully-restored steam-powered locomotive and ride on the footplate with the driver so you can observe just what it involves to get a historic steam train all stoked up on the move and trundling along the Staffordshire track with the plumes of steam swirling around you.
You really are quite literally in the hot seat on these experiences as you stand on the footplate and watch the overall-clad train crew shovelling coal into the furnace expertly working the levers and opening valves to power up and move these wonderfully solid machines. Expect heat noise and lots of steam too as the loco chugs into life and heads off on its journey along this superb rural heritage train line.
We are offering two different voyages for you. The Churnet Valley line gives you 10.5 miles of valley views as you rumble through the likes of Consall station which is right next to the canal and the river and Kingsley & Froghall stop with its delightful Victorian tearooms on the platform. If you opt for the longer Couldon Lowe experience you will witness direct from the footplate all the tight curves and steep inclines through the moorland backdrop for 26 miles culminating in a dramatic summit at Ipstones. And you will be amazed at just how steep a 1 in 61 gradient looks from the very front of the train as you look out from your very privileged spot on the footplate – quite an exhilarating experience!
As you won’t actually be taking the controls on this footplate experience you’ll have more time to enjoy the amazing viewpoint of the open locomotive and you’ll be able to watch observe and understand what all the jobs involve as the crew is sure to explain how everything works and show you how it’s done – without you having to get your hands dirty! Don’t forget to being your camera along to capture the moment you had the chance to stand on the footplate!