Diesel Experience

Ride a little Yorkshire Heritage

Did you know that you can drive a Diesel Engine with us?

This hands on experience course allows you to meet and drive a full size industrial diesel railway engine. 

With our fleet of three locomotives, typical of the Elsecar line, we are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to learn about driving one of these powerful machines.  2895 Earl of Strafford was built in Sheffield by the Yorkshire Engine Company.  Louise is a Hunslet engine, built in Leeds, typical of the line’s 1970s traction.  Elizabeth is a Sentinel Engine, converted in Rotherham from a steam locomotive.  Whichever engine is available, you will find her a joy to meet!

We will give you insight into how you drive a diesel railway engine as we welcome you aboard one of our industrial locomotives, to join our two man qualified and experienced crew.  Our challenging 1 in 37 gradient is an unforgettable highlight as you control the throttle to tackle a hill start!  You may invite one guest to join the footplate to share in the journey too.
With our Yorkshire Heritage and Yorkshire Hospitality, the sound and power of the engine and the joy of our Coalfield Line; a fantastic experience on the footplate is offered at Elsecar Heritage Railway.  More guests are welcome to watch and take photographs too.  Courses are very popular, so hurry and book your place. Gift vouchers are available too.


Our Line:
Our line, built 1850, served coal mines along its length from Elsecar to Cortonwood.  We now run on one mile of track, currently being extended, which will be travelled several times during the experience.  The Coalfield Line has steep gradients and curves, making it perfect for a footplate experience learning, including hill starts!

The Course:
After a warm welcome and safety briefing, you will join the engine to be supervised by our experienced and qualified crew and be introduced to the driver and secondman roles. You will learn about driving a magnificent engine and get to try out the controls yourself.  Protective clothing is provided if you require it, plus tea or coffee, along with an attendance certificate.  Guests receive refreshments too.  Delegates must be 18 years old or over and be able to climb into an engine.  A guest is permitted to join you and ride in the cab.

The Cost:
A one hour course costs £90.

  In 2019 diesel courses will run on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from April to October. You can choose a date after your voucher's expiry date as long as we notify the voucher company of the chosen date before the voucher expires.

To start booking your place, please download and fill in this application form.

If you already have a voucher or gift certificate, please request a date for a course using the online request form.

Course administration can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - we look forward to welcoming you soon.
(please do not use the enquiries email for footplate correspondence)


All courses are subject to availability.
For more details including a detailed itinerary for the courses, please telephone: (01226) 610100 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Administration is the responsibility of one part-time volunteer, who aims to reply to calls and emails within 72 hours.  If there is no reply, please leave a message on the answerphone.

All courses are subject to EHR terms and conditions.
Please make all cheques payable to: Elsecar Heritage Railway Ltd.
Courses are limited to a maximum of one participant.
If necessary the Railway may postpone course dates without notice.