In the age of steam, goods yards across the nation rang with the sound of clanging couplings and the squeal of steel wheel on rail, as all manner of goods were distributed around Britain in almost as many wagons.
This has gone forever – or has it?
The Nene Valley Railway is offering a rare opportunity to relive the sights and sounds of a lost era, with a steam freight driving and shunting experience.
You can join up to 7 other participants on a full day course, to be held on Friday, 14th March 2014. You will be tutored in, and then get the opportunity to get hands-on, with all aspects of running a steam-hauled freight train.
Over the course of the day there will be two main activities for the participants, with frequent rotation during the day so that everyone has an equal experience of each task:
Two participants at a time will take turns at driving and firing a large locomotive under instruction of a qualified Driver and Fireman. The group will be given a tutorial during the short classroom part at the beginning of the day in how a locomotive works, the controls, and the duties of the driver and fireman.
You will learn, and then put into practice, the role of Shunter and Guard for a freight train. During the classroom session you will learn about marshalling a train, equipment, hand signals, flags, colour lights, and the duties of a freight Guard.
After these introductory tutorials, the group will then have the opportunity to marshall the goods wagons and drive return journeys between Wansford and Peterborough with the assembled freight train, with various stops en-route. During the day, you will also get to visit the historic Wansford signal box to learn about the general principals of signalling, block working, staffs, tokens and how to operate a typical mechanical signal box.
The allocated locomotive is Stanier ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0, No.45337.
This is a full day event, with an approximate duration from 9.00am until 6.00pm. The price of the Steam Freight experience is £370 per participant. Unlike normal NVR services, advanced booking is essential – for further details please call 01780 784444. If you are purchasing the course as a gift, a gift certificate for this experience will be sent to you after booking for presentation to the lucky recipient. Perhaps the ideal last-minute Christmas present?
Guests are welcome to join participants to watch, take photographs and to join the participant for meals, but they will not be able to ride on a train.
Profits are to go to the NVR Wagon Group, to enable restoration of more of the goods wagons based on the railway.
The Official webpage can be found here: