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Steam Driver Experience

Branchline Goods Package

For 3 People

Share the Day!!

Join with 2 friends and spend the day crewing a typical country freight train. You'll get to spend time as guard, fireman, shunter and driver. You'll get to travel the whole length of the line from Maldon to Castlemaine and return, sharing the various roles - with you driving for approximately 10 kilometres

You'll meet your friendly crew who will take you through the process of preparing the locomotive and putting together a typical freight train. Once all safety checks are complete, you'll depart for Castlemaine and get to experience controlling the train both descending and climbing the steep hills of the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
After turning the locomotive on Castlemaine turntable, you'll enjoy a relaxing lunch with the crew before changing drivers for the return journey to to Maldon.

This Experience is for Everyone!

The Steam Driver Experience is for those who enjoy the sights and sounds of a steam locomotive. You need no previous railway knowledge or experience - we will teach you the basics of driving a steam locomotive.

If you are over 18 and of reasonable health and fitness - this experience is for you.

Driver Phil under instuction during his memorable Group Steam Driver Experience Day

The Locomotives

You will drive either a J class or K Class Steam Locomotive.
The locomotive you will be driving is one of our regular service engines. Maintenance requirements may determine which locomotive is available for use on your experience.

When can the Experience take place?

The Steam Driver Experience can be enjoyed on any day when we are not running passenger services, i.e not on Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays during School Holidays or on Special Event Weekends. Bookings may be limited during the summer fire danger period months (December - March).

What’s Involved?

With confirmation of your booking, you will receive a set of course notes to read through before attending the experience

The day starts at 8.30 am and is a full day experience.
First up familiarization and locomotive preparation.
Review & discuss training notes.
You will drive the steam locomotive with its goods train over about 8km of the Maldon and Castlemaine journey, each group members drives about 8km.
[A total distance of 34km]
You receive instruction to enable you to safely operate the train under the supervision of our instructing driver.
By late afternoon you will have received your Certificate of Achievement, be tired, dirty and very satisfied with your days efforts.


The Steam Driver Experience for 4 people costs $2530 incl. GST

Included in the Experience fee is:

LUNCH - will be provided for each participant and their partner and can be provided for guests for a nominal fee.
One year's Membership of the Castlemaine & Maldon Railway Preservation Society.

Map & Line Gradient Chart of the VGR

VGR Map (PDF ~ 130Kb)


Located near Maldon Station is Maldon's Eaglehawk Motel (ph 03 5475 2750). The VGR recommends this Motel should you be seeking accommodation.


"I wish to place on record how much I enjoyed the train driving experience on your railway last Tuesday. It was a most amazing experience indeed, one which I will never forget. I had driven trains before on a couple of previous occasions (again in Victoria), but the time I spent on the VGR surpassed them all! - Udaya Peeligama"

"I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone which helped out on Saturday. It was literally the second best day of my life (I have to say that right as I'm married!). - Tim Meier"

"VGR is just so different. I expected my first hour to be full of inductions, questionnaires to make sure I had understood inductions, sign all the disclaimers etc etc. Nope – just grab that oil can and start greasing son. Could not have had a greater experience. - Peter Wise"

"I cannot express what a fantastic experience I had driving the loco under that wonderful crew on the day. I did not expect it to be as good to be quite honest - I still talk about it with excitement. The level of professionalism you apply to running VGR is outstanding. Sharing the day with my family and friends was an added bonus - they had a ball And we are still talking about it."
Rob Gibb.

"I can't say too much about your staff - they were wonderful. Ian and John were very friendly, professional in their knowledge and very patient with me. I was thrilled to be able to assist in most aspects of the locomotive's operation, including lighting the boiler, oiling, mechanical inspections, pressure and safety checks etc. Driving the engine was simply sensational! I was amazed how much work the driver has to do so that the locomotive is kept running correctly. But it was great fun!"
Martin Hayden.

"I would like to express my thanks to your society for making this experience available. The experience has left a great impression, not just for me, but also on the rest of my family. I speak highly of your organization to all others that I have contact with and recommend the experience to them."
Des Alexander.

"I would like to congratulate your Society on the concept of the Train Driver Experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my day. This concept allows us avid followers of the steam era a chance to live out some of our dreams, when we stand on the footplate of locos on open days and wish we could just pull on the regulator and just feel the energy of it moving from the platform. Thanks to your Society I have been able to fulfill that dream and it was a very fulfilling experience. I would like my thanks to go to the train crew of Ian, Paul and David for a day that I will not forget for a long time. Their knowledge and experience and their faith and confidence in me all helped to make the day very enjoyable. Once again,congratulations and a very big THANK YOU.
Regards, Ray.

J515 Leading A Driver Experience 20.6.2009

For more information

Please complete the Enquiry Form on our Contact Us Page

Indulge yourself in our Steam Driver Experience,
arrange a date for a friend or relative
- the experience makes an exciting, unique and memorable gift !
Don't Just Ride It - Drive It!!