2019 Footplate Experience

Drive & fire a steam engine on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

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.


The KWVR offers 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 Brontë 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 18 and 75 years of age and in good health. If you are older than 75, 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. Your guests will be given a printout of details of the line to read at leisure during their journey along the line whilst the participant is doing all the hard work at the front.

What Does It Involve:

You will be one of three participants on the day. On your arrival at Oxenhope for 9.00 a.m., you will be met by your host who will provide you with overalls. Over a cup of tea or coffee, you will be given you a briefing covering essential safety aspects of your day and an outline of how our railway works. It is important that you arrive in time for this briefing, as it helps ensure you get maximum enjoyment out of your day, safely!


Under the supervision of our experienced and trained staff, each participant will have the opportunity to drive one complete round trip, fire another, and sample life at the back of the train as the guard.

On most trips, the train will stop at Haworth. As guests, if your family and friends wish to explore the attractions of the village, they are more than welcome to alight here and be picked up at a later time.


Once the second trip arrives back at Oxenhope, a buffet lunch will be provided for you and your guests. A short opportunity to relax then presents itself before we set off again for the afternoon’s final trip, arriving back at Oxenhope about 4.00 p.m.. Here, you will be presented with a photo certificate and other “goodies” 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 in 2019:

£650 (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 up to 4 guests.
Souvenir certificate

Dates for 2019

April – Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, Monday 8th, Tuesday 9th, Monday 29th, Tuesday 30th
May – Tuesday 7th
September – Monday 30thSOLD OUT
October – Tuesday 1st, Tuesday 22nd, Thursday 24th

So, what do I do now to book my place?

To make an enquiry about availability and book your place on one of the dates in 2019, download the Footplate Experience Booking Form, save it to your device and email it to bookings@kwvr.co.uk

IMPORTANT: The Railway is operated by volunteer staff and for unforeseen reasons (locomotive 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.

2020 Bookings

We have now opened up our 2020 waiting list. 2020 dates will be confirmed in July, for those interested in making a booking next year, please email admin@kwvr.co.uk with your name, address and contact details and you will be contacted when 2020 bookings are open.