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Kent & East Sussex Railway

Experiences & Tours

We have a range of experiences to suit your needs, please refer to the table below for guidance

Our experienced staff are keen to ensure your safety at all times, but in the unlikely event of an emergency you may need to leave the footplate quickly, and possibly jump from height to the ground without assistance.  It is therefore essential that you have the ability and the fitness level to do this.  If you are in any doubt please discuss your concerns with one of our staff. Protective footwear is essential, overalls are provided.

 Feature Footplate Taster  VIP Footplate Taster Railway Experience Half Day Railway Experience Day Enginemans Experience Diesel Cab Ride  
Group Size 1 1 6 6 2 1  
Introduction and Safety Briefing 1 1 1      
Footplate ride on-board a steam locomotive for a round trip of 21 miles. 1 1          
Join the driver in the cab and learn about the controls to operate a historic diesel vehicle           1  
Breakfast roll served in the Station Refreshment Rooms   1 1 1 1    
Help prepare one of our steam locomotives   1          
Opportunity to accompany the driver to operate a locomotive for    5 miles          
Fire a locomotive under direction for     2 miles 5 miles 21 miles    
Drive a locomotive for a short passenger train under direction for      2 miles 5 miles 21 miles    
Act as a guard for a short passenger train under direction for     2 miles 5 miles      
On-board guided tour of the railway     1 1 1    

Tea and Coffee on-board the train

    1 1 1    
Full cooked lunch in the Station Refreshment Rooms       1 1    
Certificate of Achievement     1 1 1    
Family & Friends can ride behind your train (additional charge applies)     1 1 1*    

 

 

Footplate Taster 2018 £150

Your chance to ride with the crew on the footplate of a historic steam locomotive!

Experience the challenges of operating a steam locomotive on the 21 mile trip from Tenterden to Bodiam and return. The K&ESR has one of the steepest gradients of any heritage line so you'll see just how the driver, fireman and locomotive have to work together to haul the train up the hill into Tenterden Town station. 

You'll be accompanied at all times by one our footplate crew who will brief you about the experience and will explain the roles of being a driver and fireman, operation of the locomotive and details of the railway during the trip.

Whilst not 'hands-on', this experience continues to be a very popular choice, both in cost and as a 'taster' to the other experiences we provide. Please note that these experiences take place during July & August only.

 

 

VIP Footplate Experience 2018 £245

This exclusive course is for those who wish to see a steam locomotive hard at work up close and personal and help prepare it for the days service and we have a limited number of places for Summer 2018.
Join us at Rolvenden locomotive depot and help prepare the days rostered locomotive under the supervision of the driver. Get hands on oiling up the engine, polish the brass, stoke the fire and find out what it takes to get an engine ready for a day’s service on the K&ESR.

Once complete you get the chance to take control and drive the engine under the instruction from our footplate crew to Wittersham Road station and back to Tenterden Town.
Finally you get to experience the challenges of operating a steam locomotive on the 21 mile trip from Tenterden to Bodiam and return as you ride on the footplate and see our driver and fireman in action. The K&ESR has one of the steepest gradients of any heritage line so you'll see just how the footplate crew and locomotive have to work together to haul the train up the hill into Tenterden Town station.

You'll be accompanied at all times by one of our footplate crew who will brief you about the experience and will explain the roles of being a driver and fireman, operation of the locomotive and details of the railway during the trip.
An ideal choice for those looking for a shorter hands on introduction to steam locomotives both in cost and as a 'taster' to the other experiences we provide. Please note that these experiences take place during July & August only.

 

Railway Experience Half-day £290 

Get a taster for the lives of the Driver, Fireman and Guard on the K&ESR and learn what it takes to keep the trains moving with this half day experience. Take control of the regulator, shovel the coal and operate the level crossing gates as part of a team of six delegates as you take a steam train between Tenterden Town, Bodiam and return on-board your own private train for one round trip of our heritage railway.

Under the guidance and supervision of our knowledgeable footplate instructors, along with the team of delegates you'll have an opportunity to drive, fire and act as guard between Tenterden and Bodiam (10.5 miles).  Your host will be on hand to provide further details about the railway, its operation and answer your questions.

Complimentary tea and coffee will be available on board the train. On arrival at Bodiam Station, there's plenty of time for photographs with the locomotive and crew before returning to Tenterden Town Station.

Dates are avaoilable throughout 2018 but owing to popular demand we recommend booking your position as early as possible.

 

 

 

Railway Experience Day £495 

Experience the lives of the Driver, Fireman and Guard on the K&ESR and what it takes to keep the trains moving with this whole day experience. Take control of the regulator, shovel the coal and operate the level crossing gates as you take a steam train between Tenterden Town, Bodiam and return on-board your own private train.

Under the guidance and supervision of our knowledgeable footplate instructors, you'll have the opportunity to drive, fire and act as guard between Tenterden and Bodiam (10.5 miles).  Your host will be on hand to provide further details about the railway, its operation and answer your questions.

Complimentary tea and coffee will be available on board the train. On arrival at Bodiam Station, there's plenty of time for photographs with the locomotive and crew before returning to Tenterden Town Station for lunch in our restaurant.

Then there's a further trip over the whole line to put those newly learned skills into action once more.

Dates are available throughout 2018 but owing to popular demand we recommend booking your position as early as possible.

 

WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAY

"Just wanted to say I had a brilliant day - really great crowd and a fun outing!"

This whole day experience costs £495 inclusive of refreshments and is our most popular experience package.  For a small additional fee, your friends and family are able to join you on your very special day and can ride on the train that you are driving or firing!  

 

Engineman’s Experience Day £1200
If you're looking for a more exclusive, longer driving experience than we offer on our other courses, then look no further than our Engineman’s Experience Day.
This whole day experience is available to just two people per day and you'll complete two full round trips of the entire railway. You'll be driving on one trip and firing on the other, hauling either our Victorian era vintage passenger train or our British Railways era freight train between Tenterden and Bodiam. This course gives a total of 21 miles driving and 21 miles of firing and the chance to spend the entire day on the footplate.

Your day will start at Tenterden Town Station where you'll be welcomed by our friendly, experienced team for a short introduction to the railway and safety briefing. Moving to the platform, your train will be waiting and after familiarisation with the controls, you'll take charge of your train for its journey through the beautiful Kent and Sussex countryside. On return to Tenterden, you'll enjoy lunch in our restaurant before your second trip over the line.

Throughout the day, our experienced footplate instructors will accompany you and coach you in the art of being a driver and fireman as well as answering any questions that you may have.
For a small additional fee, your friends and family are able to join you on your very special day and can ride on the train that you are driving or firing! (Only available on-board the Vintage train)

It is not essential that you have previously completed one of our other railway experience courses before undertaking the Advanced Course, but you may find it beneficial to have done so.

 

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Tenterden Christmas Market 2017

Friday 24th & Saturday 25th November

 

The Kent & East Sussex Railway are proud to support Tenterden's Christmas market for the second year, providing a shuttle service into the town from the car park at Rother Valley Timber yard, Tenterden Road, TN17 4QZ.  The car park is a short walk along A28 to Rolvenden station.

We are proud to be offering the shuttle service free of charge, however as a charity we would be very appreciative of donations towards the cost of providing this service. We have space for a limited number of pushchairs per journey within our guards van.  

Our steam hauled trains will depart from Rolvenden station and will provide a short journey (apx 10 minutes) up the line to Tenterden Town where you can disembark and walk up Station Road to the High Street to enjoy all that this year's Christmas Market has to offer.

Friday 24th November 2017

Departure Times Rolvenden Station (please note not located in Rolvenden village) 

15:00    16:00    17:00    18:00    19:00

Departure Times Tenterden Town (short trip to Rolvenden Station)

15:30   16:30     17:30    18:30    19:30     20:30

Saturday 25th November 2017

Departure Times Rolvenden Station (please note not located in Rolvenden village)

12:00    13:00   14:00    15:00    16:00    17:00    18:00    19:00

Departure Times Tenterden Town (short trip to Rolvenden Station)

12:30   13:30    14:30    15:30   16:30    17:30    18:30    19:30    20:30

 

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Car Parking in Tenterden

There will also be a limited number of spaces available in our Station Car Park at Tenterden Town (TN30 6HE) where the charge will be £5 per vehicle (CASH ONLY). Please note there is not space for coaches, minibuses or vehicles larger than 4x4.  Charges apply to all users including Blue Badge holders. Drive to the bottom of Station Road, over the level crossing and down to our car park.

The car park will be open and volunteers will be marshalling cars from:

Friday 24th November

10:30 - 21:30

Saturday 25th November

8:30 - 20:30

Parking will not be available before these times to any members of the public or stall holders.

In partnership with the Foxcote Manor Society, the Kent and East Sussex Railway have booked the magnificent 7822 Foxcote Manor to operate on selected days during May on their idyllic line. This will be the largest engine ever to operate the K&ESR.
On 14th May the railway will celebrate their shared passion between full size and miniature engineering by staging a display at Bodiam Station of 5” gauge model Manors from The 1/12th Scale Manor Locomotive Appreciation Group.

Mini Manor 3

It is hoped a number of locomotives will be on display in the Bodiam Yard, 7808 Cookham Manor, 7810 Draycott Manor, 7816 Frilsham Manor and 7817 Garsington Manor to name but a few! There will also be displays of other restoration projects including 4709 – ‘The Night Owl’.

Fares are available on the day with a 10% discount on production of a model engineering club membership card.
Please note there is no public parking at Bodiam Station.

Trackwalk '17

Junction Rd

Rother Valley Railway & Kent and East Sussex Railway
Sunday 5th November 2017

This joint event is the very first organised Sponsored Track Walk to raise funds for worthy projects on the K&ESR. We need your help to raise funds towards the completion of 

The GWR Railcar

This historically important vehicle has been quietly undergoing restoration for many years and is now within sight of completion.

The Railcar formed the first train on the re-opened K&ESR in 1974 and, with your help, we can raise the funds we need to finish the job so that it can take its part in the re-opening to Robertsbridge!

We'll be walking from Bodiam Station to Junction Road and, for the first time ever, on towards Austens Bridge!

Austens Bridge

This is a rare opportunity to see the line and newly acquired trackbed from a different perspective. But it's also a great way to raise money by getting sponsorship from friends, family and work colleagues. We hope this will be a fun family day out and expect numbers to be high. This is a round trip walk of 2 miles, but remember that walking on track and ballast is not always easy. 

Itinerary

Gather at Tenterden Town Station Buffet by 9:30am for registration, safety briefing and submission of your sponsorship details. Walkers are expected to submit sponsorship pledges to the value of at least £10 per person or £20 for each family group (up to two adults and three children).

Then join the special Heritage Diesel train (DMMU) departing for Bodiam at 10am. On arrival, the DMMU will be stabled at Bodiam Station throughout the day, providing a control point and shelter.

On completion of the walk, the DMMU will return to Tenterden at approximately 1pm .

All walkers will receive a special commemorative certificate on completion of the walk. Refreshment facilities will be available at Tenterden and Bodiam including complimentary hot drinks.

We look forward to seeing you on 5th November!

Important notes

Trackwalk is open to K&ESR and RVR members and their immediate families only. In the event of poor weather, we reserve the right to cancel or postpone the event, in which case a reserve date of Sunday 12th November has been allocated. Please check this webpage before setting out on your journey. Note that there is NO car parking available at Bodiam Station and dogs are not permitted on this walk.


Space is limited, so reserve your place by completing the form below today. Sponsorship forms are available for download following registration

If you are supporting a Trackwalker and wish to donate online, click the button below

 

Donate online

 

Trackwalk 17 Registration Form

If you'd like to be a part of this event, complete your details on the form below

Your contact details
Walkers

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