Book Now: THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride 2024
Currently Postponed

Top Link Driving Course

Duration 2 ¼ hours – 3 hours 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drive a standard gauge size steam locomotive? Or do you know someone who has always dreamed of taking the controls of a historic locomotive? If so then Top Link Driving Course is just the ticket.

These courses offer a unique experience that allow its participants to get up close and personal with a steam locomotive. Experience the magic of a working steam locomotive as you climb aboard the footplate with our experienced crews.

Blow the whistle, shovel the coal, open the regulator and feel the power of steam as you become a train driver for the day, and pass through the beautiful and scenic Churnet Valley.

Why not treat yourself or surprise someone you know with a day that will never be forgotten. These experiences are available as a gift voucher and if desired the participant can upgrade their gift voucher to the next level.

This course is ideal for those who have taken to the rails before, or for someone who is looking to learn more about driving a steam locomotive and its train. Here participants take to the controls of a historic steam locomotive with a train of carriages.

Enjoy 22 miles of one on one tuition aboard our locomotive along the picturesque Churnet Valley Railway enjoying the stunning Staffordshire Moorlands. 

There will be opportunities to take photographs to record your special day and as a memento you will be presented with a certificate and complementary polo shirt.


* Be aged over 18 years and under 70 years old. If you are aged 70+ years please call the office for advice.
* Be physically and mentally fit enough to climb on and off the locomotive from ground level unaided.
* Wear overalls or old cotton clothing that fully covers your arms and legs.
* Wear sturdy shoes / boots that protect your feet - trainers are definitely not permitted.
* Must not consume alcohol in the 12 hour period leading up to the ride / course or during the Footplate Experience. Locomotives will be used from the current fleet available and cannot be specified in advance.

We reserve the right to deny access to the Footplate should any of the above not be adhered to.

To Book Please Call the Office on: 01538 360522

• Please note that the Top Link Driving Courses take place during times when the railway is not carrying fare paying passengers.
• The Drive a Trains are very popular and we therefore strongly advise that you make an early booking.
• Please note that the Churnet Valley Railway (1992) PLC reserves the right to reschedule any Top Link Driving Course for whatever reason. and sometimes at short notice should a locomotive failure occur.