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Footplate Experience

Spend a whole day operating a typical Great Western branch line!
5th September 2020



Adult: £299.00 (Ages 18+)


From 09:00 to 17:00, with the option of arriving earlier at 06:30 to light up the engine


The Western Branchline Experience is just that. After an appropriate briefing and instruction, you join five other people as a team to spend the whole day actually operating and running the Dean Forest Railway, under supervision of qualified DFR personnel.

Course members do not need to have any particular skills to participate as guidance is provided, and each member is free to do as much (or as little) and he or she wishes. A wide range of facets of operation is contained in the day, including driving and firing the steam loco taking charge of the train as guard, operating the signal boxes (including single line token instruments), stopping the traffic in Lydney as Crossing Keepers and, if you have the time, helping light up and clean the loco before duties in the morning and putting the loco away in the evening.

There is also time to simply enjoy that extraordinarily intimate experience of standing on the veranda of the brakevan next to the smokebox of the engine as you steam along the line through the magical medieval Royal Forest. A truly delightful and memorable experience, which is not often available.

You are welcome to bring friends and family along, and they may travel on the brakevan, but will be required to buy a travel ticket for the day to do so (this will also allow them to travel on the passenger train). Please note that children under 12 are not permitted to ride in the brakevan.


  • 26 July
  • 5 September
  • 3 October


  • Heritage
  • Workshop


Dean Forest Railway
Forest Road
GL15 4ET
01594 845840

O/S Ref: SO 629 043


From A48 Gloucester to Chepstow road, take B4234 from Lydney to Parkend. Dean Forest Railway is on your left after approximately 2 miles.

Note The above directions are to our main centre at Norchard Station. Similarly the marker on the map is at Norchard.

Enter your start address:

  • Lydney


Dean Forest Railway

A 8.5 mile trip through the medieval forest to Parkend with steam and some heritage diesel train services. Free parking, cafeteria, museum and gift shop at Norchard station. Pay once - ride all day!

Attraction in or near Lydney