Footplate Taster 2020 - VIP Upgrade initial dates now availableBook now blueWould you like to experience life on the footplate up close and personal and help prepare our locomotives for service? If so this is the experience for you!


Join us at Rolvenden locomotive depot and help prepare the day's rostered locomotive under the supervision of the driver. Get hands on oiling the engine, polishing the brass, stoking 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 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.

  • One-to-one half day experience
  • Help prepare one of our steam locomotives
  • Opportunity to drive a locomotive for 5 miles
  • Footplate ride on-board a steam locomotive for a round trip of 21 miles
  • Introduction and Safety Briefing
  • Breakfast roll served in the Station Refreshment Room

Book now blue

To redeem a K&ESR Gift Card, please contact the Booking Office on 01580 765155

Our experienced staff will take every precaution 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 contact us. Protective footwear is essential, overalls are provided.