Footplate Experience

As a result of Government advice in response to COVID-19, we are postponing experiences that were due to take place up until the end of July 2020. All visitors affected by this will receive an email to confirm next steps.

Any bookings for experiences after this date will be reviewed as we continue to act on official advice. Thank you for your understanding.

New for 2020, our Footplate Experience allows you to ride on the footplate of one of our beautiful steam engines, Excelsior or Superior.

Ever wanted to find out what it really takes to be one of our steam engine drivers? With our unique Footplate experience you can get an up close insight into what goes on, on the footplate while steaming past exotic animals such as Asian elephants, bactrian camels and greater one-horned rhinos.

Please note, participants must be 18 years or older.

Price

The experience is available twice per day at 1pm and 3pm and runs on selected weekends.

  • £30 per person 
  • ZSL Gold Members, Patrons and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this experience. This discount will be added automatically at checkout when you sign in using your registered email address. If you are having problems please call us on  0344 225 1826.

Your Footplate experience includes:

  • Briefing with driver or fireman
  • One round trip on the footplate of one of our steam engines, Excelsior or Superior
  • Up to 4 family and friends get to ride free on the train, in the front carriage to get the best view of you on the footplate during your experience. (Additional family and friends can join them on the trip but must purchase train tickets at the Station Store)
  • A certificate to remind you of your trip.

Please note that admission to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is not included and must be purchased separately or ZSL Gold or Silver Membership held.

The railway team prepare the engine

What to expect on the day

This 15 minute footplate experience begins with a health and safety briefing from either our driver or fireman, while one of our platform staff settle your friends and family into their front row seats. You will then be shown onto the footplate ready for your experience to begin. After the train gets back to the station there will be the opportunity for your friends and family to take photos of you on the footplate before you will be presented with your certificate.

Important information to know before you book

  • Admission to the Zoo is not included and must be purchased separately
  • Participants must be 18 years or older.
  • You must arrive 20 minutes before the time of your experience.
  • Participants must wear closed toed shoes (walking boots or similar) and full-length trousers and long sleeves to take part in the experience.
  • Participants must have a good level of mobility due to the access requirements of each steam engine.
  • Participants with additional needs must be accompanied by a carer during the initial H&S briefing. Due to the size restrictions of the footplate, this carer cannot ride on the footplate but will sit in the front carriage behind the participant.
  • Wheelchair access is not available for this experience.

If you have any questions about booking please feel free to contact us.

Footplate Experience

Friends and Family watching Footplate Experience

Dates

Cost £30 per person

Please note: ZSL Gold members, Patrons and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this experience. This discount will be added automatically at checkout when you sign in using your registered email address. If you are having problems please call us on  0344 225 1826.

If you have any questions about booking please feel free to contact us.