Driver Experience Courses
This course offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the thrill of preparing, firing and driving a steam locomotive, on the award-winning Beer Heights Light Railway - our mile long scenic, fully signalled narrow gauge railway at Pecorama, in glorious Devon.
STAGE ONE DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE
Our Steam Locomotive Driver Experience Courses offer you the chance to have the footplate all to yourself, whilst benefitting from expert tuition and supervision from our highly experienced staff.
Participants are welcome to bring up to two guests who can enjoy the day on site and then join you for your takeaway lunch from 12:45pm onwards and be your first passengers when you take control of your locomotive!
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10:00 Arrive at the main reception where you will be met and accompanied to the Orion Pullman Carriage for a safety briefing and theory session over coffee – (with allowances made for social distancing), and order your takeaway lunch(es) from our canteen menu, which serves tasty, freshly made food to our whole site.
After that, you will prepare, learn the controls and steam up the engine.
Before lunch, (if all goes well!), there should be an opportunity to try your hand at driving the engine, with full guidance and advice from your instructor, who sits behind you with ‘dual controls’ – just in case. There is a clear, social distancing screen, between you and the instructor, who can relay instructions to you via a cab radio if required.
12:45 If you have guests joining you now, please ask them to meet you at White Falls Platform where your pre-ordered takeaway lunch(es) will be given to you to enjoy the gardens together whilst you re-energise yourself for the afternoon’s excitement!
13:30 After lunch, you will be coupling up to a set of coaches and driving yourself and your guests on a few trips on the fully signalled, mile long ‘mainline’ with wonderful views.
Finally, there is ‘disposal’ – how to clean up and leave your locomotive safe for the night, during which time your guests may wait in the gardens for you. Your day will finish at around mid-afternoon.
The £215 cost includes all refreshments throughout the day, entry for two guests and a personalised certificate to commemorate your day as a driver.
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*** NEW **** ADVANCED DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE **** NEW ****
Due to demand, we are delighted to introduce our NEW Advanced Driver Experience course which is open to anyone who has successfully completed the Beer Heights Light Railway Stage One Driver Experience Course (as advertised above).
Ever Fancied Driving a Freight train, shunting at various sidings delivering the goods? Here is your perfect opportunity to experience the dream. The advanced course will present the opportunity to operate a freight service on the award winning Beer Heights Light Railway, using a variety of motive power to shunt freight wagons at the various sidings and stations along the route.
Participants are welcome to bring an able bodied friend to act as a shunter along side the your Beer Heights Instructor if they wish.
Course Timetable for Advanced Driver Experience Course
10:00 Arrive at the main reception where you will be met and accompanied to the Orion Pullman Carriage for a safety briefing and introductory session over coffee – (with allowances made for social distancing), and order your takeaway lunch(es) from our canteen menu, which serves tasty, freshly made food to our whole site. (Guests may choose to order from our Canteen App or our onsite takeaways – this can be decided on the day)
After that, you will prepare and steam up the engine.
11:30 Organise and commence ‘Trip Freight’’ workings around the Beer Heights system.
12.45 We will stop for lunch when you can enjoy the gardens whilst you re-energise yourself for the afternoon’s further excitement!
13:30 After lunch, you will continue to deliver the goods around the site eventually assembling all the wagons back at the yard.
Finally, there is ‘disposal’ – clean up and leave your locomotive safe for the night. Following a de-brief your day will finish at around mid- afternoon.
The £250 cost includes all refreshments throughout the day and a personalised certificate to commemorate your day as a Freight Train Driver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an age limit?
Yes, participants must be 18 years or over.
Do I need special clothing?
Cotton overalls (or a jacket and over-trousers) are essential to protect your clothing, along with stout boots – safety type preferable. (Trainers are not suitable). A waterproof jacket is also useful in case of poor weather. Suitable gloves will be provided.
Can I book on behalf of someone else?
Yes, this course makes an ideal gift.
How physically demanding is the course?
Participants need to possess a reasonable degree of physical and mental agility and to be able to comply with both verbal and graphic instruction. However, we cannot make assumptions or judgements about a person’s abilities without being informed of their circumstances and needs. The locomotive used has a ‘sit in’ cab which requires some flexibility to enter and egress. If in doubt, please ring us to discuss the above.
Covid 19 related considerations
- Your instructor will respect social distancing throughout the day and it should not be necessary to encounter anyone else, in close proximity, on the site.
- A clear screen is fitted between the locomotive and the instructors riding van behind.
- All appropriate areas and surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned before your experience.
- Hand sanitiser is available.
- Protective gloves (provided) should be worn on the locomotive.
- For the course, you may use your own face mask as you wish but we would point out that, due to the heat from the engine, this may be uncomfortable and there could also be a small risk of fire – you will effectively be in the ‘fresh air’ most of the day.
* Please comply with any COVID signage onsite
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions
Payment – 50% deposit payable on booking. Balance to be paid no later than 28 days prior to the course date.
Cancellation Policy – refunds for cancellations will be considered up to one week prior to the day, if we are able to re-fill the booked slot. Thereafter, a maximum refund of 50% may be given. For cancellation due to Covid restraints/illness, your course will be re-arranged for a future date.