There was a time when every little boy wanted to be an engine driver. Now grown up boys – and girls – can do just that and experience the power and majesty of steam through the experiences offered on the Kent & East Sussex Railway
Below you’ll find a range of experiences that we have developed over time and we would like to think we’ve covered most activities. If when you read through them you think there’s an experience missing or you can think of an activity you would like either individually or as part of a group them please get in touch and we can discuss the possibilities.
Behind the Scenes – An exclusive opportunity for railway enthusiasts to spend a day with a knowledgeable guide behind the scenes at England’s finest rural light railway.
DMMU Cab Ride – This is a unique opportunity to view the 21-mile line from a totally different perspective. You will travel in the cab of the DMMU with the driver on one of the scheduled passenger trains along the line. During the trip your driver will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the line, operation of the controls or the techniques employed in driving a Diesel Mechanical Multiple Unit.
Introduction to driving – Join us for a day during which you will learn some of the basic skills required to drive a steam locomotive. Under the eye of an experienced instructor you will take the controls and learn how to move off and stop smoothly. As the day progresses you will have several opportunities to develop your skills, culminating in gently ‘buffering up’ your engine to a 20-ton brake van.
Intermediate driving – Having mastered the basic techniques with an ‘introduction’ course, why not try an ‘intermediate’ experience? You will drive a train from Rolvenden to Northiam and back under the careful supervision of your instructor. You will gain first-hand experience of operating a locomotive on part of one of the most challenging lines in the Country, through varied countryside and on gradients of up to 1:65
Advanced Driving – Having mastered the basic techniques with an ‘introduction’ course, why not try an ‘advanced’ experience? You will drive a train from Tenterden to Bodiam and back under the careful supervision of your instructor. You will gain first hand experience of operating a locomotive on one of the most challenging lines in the Country, through varied countryside and on gradients of up to 1:36.
Goods Train Driving – Having mastered the basic techniques with an ‘introduction’ course and possibly an ‘advanced’ course why not try a Goods Train Driving Experience? You will drive a goods train from Rolvenden to Bodiam and return under the careful supervision of your instructor. You will gain experience in operating a traditional goods train, controlling it by using only by the brakes on the locomotive and shunting it at Bodiam to form a new train.
The ‘Wealden Pullman’, introduced in 1974, forms the perfect venue to celebrate a special occasion or for a more intimate evening. Your meal is carefully prepared onboard and served by authentically attired Pullman Attendants whilst the train gently winds its way along the Rother Valley. Dining carriages include two historic Pullman Cars dating from the 1920’s, which capture perfectly the atmosphere & style for which travel by Pullman train became renowned. Thus the finest traditions of the Pullman Car Company are maintained for your enjoyment and as a reminder of a more elegant age.
The Wealden Pullman is staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers, who take great pride in recreating levels of service seldom enjoyed in today’s busy world. Enjoy a complimentary aperitif whilst you admire the carefully restored steam locomotive or explore the intricate marquetry panelling in Pullman Car ‘Barbara’. Take your seat and savour the moment as the train gently departs on its relaxing journey……. The ‘Wealden Pullman’ departs Tenterden Town Station on most Saturday evenings from April to November. Selected dates feature ‘Sherlock Holmes Murder & Mystery’ or ‘1940’s’ themes.
A traditional Roast Luncheon is also served on most Sunday afternoons between April & October.