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Steam Footplate Experience Courses

Enjoy the thrill of a lifetime, or perhaps realise a childhood dream, by learning what it feels like to experience life as the Driver and Fireman of a steam locomotive.

Bodmin Railway

Inhale that distinctive smell of burning coal, feel the heat from the escaping steam and sense the surge of adrenalin…

Experience the feel of a working steam engine as you join the crew on the footplate, shovel coal onto the fire, blow the whistle, open the regulator and feel the power…

Treat that special person in your life, or even pamper yourself, to an unforgettable experience savouring the true magic of steam!

The Bodmin & Wenford Railway offers one day Footplate Experience Courses enabling people to realise their ambition and make long held dreams become reality.

Bodmin Railway

With challenging gradients as steep as 1 in 37 and a three coach train you will take it in turns to drive and fire the locomotive.

Our Footplate Experience Courses are designed for moderately fit people  to take part in aspects of the railway operation that are unseen by the majority of our visitors.

During the course of the day you will experience work as a Driver, Fireman and Guard and also visit the signalbox, guided by enthusiastic and fully qualified railway staff.

Lunch and refreshments are provided to all participants.

Accompanying guests are also welcome to share the experience, and may travel on the train free of charge.

To mark the occasion each participant is presented with a certificate at the end of the day.

Buying as a Gift..?

Our Footplate Experience Courses make the perfect gift!

If you are booking this course as a gift for someone we are happy to keep the booking confidential until near to the course date.

We can also provide a voucher and card for you to give to the participant - please select this option when booking.

General Information

Bodmin Railway



A Footplate Experience Course on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway costs £405, which is fully inclusive of membership of the Bodmin Railway Preservation Society (BRPS).


To arrange a course, please contact us via email enquiries@bodminrailway.co.uk and an application form will be sent to you.

The date of a  course is by arrangement. These are usually held in February, March, April, October and November.

Health & Safety Advice

Bodmin Railway

The course will of necessity involve active participation in the preparation, firing, driving and disposal of a steam locomotive.

You will need to climb onto, underneath and around the engine. You will be exposed to heat, water and ash. You will have to handle heavy tools and shovel coal. It is inevitable that you will get dirty.

Protective clothing (overalls and gloves) and strong footwear are essential.

All reasonable safety precautions will be taken. You will be under constant supervision but it must be pointed out that footplate work has potential hazards, although no more so than other active occupations or sports.

You must be prepared to accept instructions from those in charge, which will be for your own benefit. Instructors are qualified and experienced BWR enginemen.

Conditions of Booking

A £100 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking with the balance payable four weeks before the date of the course. Course dates will be confirmed by letter.

If we cancel your course:

Whilst every effort will be made to operate Footplate Experience Courses on the dates advertised and agreed, there may be occasions when we have to curtail or cancel a course for operational reasons. If we cancel your course we will offer you:

an alternative date or
a full refund of the course fee

We will not reimburse travel or accommodation charges associated with a curtailed or cancelled course.

If you cancel your course:

In addition to the deposit cancelled bookings are subject to the following charges;

These charges may be waived in the event of extenuating circumstances.