Experience the challenges of operating a historic locomotive on the 21 mile trip from Tenterden to Bodiam and return. The K&ESR has one of the steepest gradients so you'll see just how hard the driver, fireman and locomotive have to work together to haul the train up the hill into Tenterden. You'll be accompanied at all times by one of our driver/instructors who will brief you about the experience and will explain the roles of being a driver and fireman during the trip. Whilst not 'hands-on', this experience continues to be a very popular choice, both in cost and as a 'taster' to the other experiences we provide. Please note that these experiences take place during July & August only.
Steamraiser option - additional £45
For a small additional charge, you can join the loco crew at Rolvenden Locomotive Depot and get hands-on as they prepare the locomotive for service
Seeing a locomotive slowly 'come alive' is a magical experience largely unseen in todays' instant world. You'll need to be an early bird though, as this experience requires an 8am start at Rolvenden Locomotive Depot. You'll meet the skilled team who carefully prepare a locomotive for service and help them to carry out the checks and preparations necessary. You'll also need to be prepared to get intimate with your engine, as some of the places that require oiling aren't easy to reach!
When your engine is ready, you'll climb aboard the footplate before setting off to pick up the carriages at Tenterden Town Station. There'll be a short opportunity for refreshments with the crew before you set off for the 21 mile round trip to Bodiam as described above. Following your return to Tenterden Town Station you will be free to catch a subsequent departure to get back to your vehicle at Rolvenden - make yourself known to the Guard on the train.
Our experienced staff are keen to ensure your safety at all times, but in the unlikely event of an emergency you may need to leave the footplate quickly, and possibly jump from height to the ground without assistance. It is therefore essential that you have the ability and the fitness level to do this. If you are in any doubt please discuss your concerns with one of our staff. Protective footwear is essential, overalls are provided.