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Drive a Steam Train - Full Day Experience
This unique experience gives the recipient the opportunity to drive a coal-fired steam locomotive for two return trips on the Talyllyn Railway. They are instructed and supervised by one of our volunteer Drivers. They will be hauling a rake of passenger carriages, in which your friends and family can travel. Three passengers are included in the price; additional guests can be paid for separately. Abergynolwyn cafe will serve morning coffee and a buffet lunch for the Guest Driver, passengers and train crew to enjoy. The Guest Driver will become a member of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society from the date of their experience*. Members receive a quarterly colour magazine and free travel on timetabled trains.
The Full Day Experience is available all-year-round except on Blue or Pink timetable days see the timetable calendar. Only one such course is available on any one day and this is booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
Full Day Experience £825,
Full Day Experience sharing £850,
Additional guests (3 are included in the above prices) £10 each.
Itinerary for the day
Occasionally we have to adjust these times to accommodate other trains, we will confirm this when you book.
The Guest Driver should meet the train at Tywyn Wharf station at 10:30. Alternatively they can arrive at Pendre station at 08:00, where they will have chance to help prepare the locomotive and have a short tour of the works, blockpost and carriage sheds. Upon arrival the Guest Driver meets the instructing driver and is given a safety briefing.
- Your accompanying guests must arrive at Tywyn Wharf station by 10:30. You have the use a private train – accompanying guests can travel in whichever carriage they choose!
- At 11:05 the Guest Driver take the controls and under supervision drives the 7¼ miles to Nant Gwernol station taking around 60 minutes;
- Water is taken on at Dolgoch Station on the outward journey where the Guest Driver will assist in the operation;
- The loco is run round the carriages at Nant Gwernol by the instructing crew before the Guest Driver starts the return journey;
- The Guest Driver then drives the train back to Abergynolwyn, where a lunch break is taken. A buffet of sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee is served.
- The train, driven by the Guest Driver, leaves Abergynolwyn and arrives back at Pendre taking a further 40 minutes;
- The loco is serviced (coaled and watered) and again run round at Pendre by the Talyllyn crew before setting off up for a trip to the end of the line at Nant Gwernol - the Guest Driver will drive under supervision as before;
- Water is again taken on at Dolgoch Station where the Guest Driver will assist;
- A short refreshment break is taken at Abergynolwyn where tea and coffee is served. This is either on the outward or return trip, depending on what other trains are running.
- The day experience finishes at Tywyn Wharf station at around 17:20.
It may be possible to choose which locomotive is driven, depending upon which of our fleet of six steam locomotives is available at the time.
*Membership runs until the 31 January (or the following January for those who join after 1September). If other members of the party also wish to become members they can join at the appropriate rates, see the membership form.