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Drive a Train Experience

Drive a Train Experience

The contribution made by our volunteers to the Drive a Train Experience (or FXP as it is known to all who work here), is essential to its smooth running and the positive experience of our customers. The volunteers’ knowledge of and enthusiasm for this railway are hugely valuable and are major contributors to the charm and experience of the day.

Footplate Experience Guides

We are a small and close-knit team who strive to give excellent service for those Steam and Diesel enthusiasts who wish to have the drive of a lifetime! Sometimes our experiences are gifts, and sometimes as surprises for our customers in order to celebrate a milestone in their lives and others as that once in a lifetime opportunity, but whatever the reason we are dedicated to making sure their memories of this awesome experience, are cherished forever.

There are several elements to this role, all of which require a pleasant positive nature, with bags of enthusiasm! This role is entirely customer facing and so demonstrating excellent customer service skills and a willingness to please is essential.

Good health and fitness is also required due to the nature of the role being very active.

What will you do?
  • Meet and Greet – An early start of around 8am - You will be meeting and greeting our Participants upon arrival, offering them teas, coffees and biscuits and getting them checked in and set up for the day.

  • Safety Briefing – You will make sure all participants (and their guests) on the day have read and understood the safety briefing and watched the appropriate training video. You will ensure that they are wearing suitable clothing and footwear in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

  • Guided Tour – Our guided tour is a fantastic experience unique to the East Lancs Railway, and thanks to the knowledge of our Guides, we can share information and insider knowledge to impress even the most dedicated enthusiasts! People always leave knowing much more than when they arrived! The tour takes in our Loco Works and Sheds, Bury South Signal Box and plenty of trackside walking over unsteady terrain, tracks and on ballast. This alone can take up to 2.5 hours, in all weathers. Therefore, fitness and good health are essential!

  • Lunch – We serve our participants a delicious catered 2-course lunch, a hearty dinner giving enough fuel to power an engine! (Literally!) Our FXP Team prepare the eating area and serve the lunches to our participants, and clean down the space afterwards.

  • Certificates – Another key element of the day is when our Participants get to go home with a framed, personalised certificate signed by the crew of their engine; our FXP team prepare these and make sure the complimentary ELRPS memberships are ready for them at the end of the day.

  • And more…! There are of course, a wide range of elements to this role not only the points listed above, and whilst the FXP itself is a full day experience, we usually ask the team to work for half a day, with a handover/ overlap period.

  • Perks! – The first benefit is being welcomed into a team who will support and look after you, witnessing such delight on our customers’ faces knowing that you have helped create that, and following that a bacon buttie or two, plus a nice dinner each time you work! And, who knows, maybe you’ll even get the chance to get up on the Footplate yourself!


The dress code for this role is to wear comfortable, practical attire; being mindful that you are in a customer-facing role so a clean, neat and tidy appearance is essential. Footwear is very important and as we ask our Participants to wear sturdy footwear, we must do the same. As the tour covers unsteady terrain, crossing rails and sleepers and walking on ballast, we require strong and sturdy boots, ideally steel toe-capped with good ankle support.

So, if you are itching to share your own knowledge of the East Lancs Railway or really love interacting with people and giving that personal touch to your customer experiences then please get in touch! We would love to meet you!

For more information on becoming a working member, please contact the Volunteer Liaison Team on 07585 198455 or at

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