Driver Experience with D821

Have you ever dreamt about taking to the footplate of a diesel locomotive, feeling the power of the engine as it hauls a train along a full size railway? We can now offer you the opportunity to drive ex British Railways "Warship" locomotive, D821, getting a truly authentic experience as you control the locomotive and train, complete with coaches behind, tackling our challenging gradients, obeying the signals and stopping at platforms.

Class 42 Warship D821
Photo: Jonathan Hughes

Warship D821 "Greyhound" Driver Experience

Take the controls of the first large Diesel Hydraulic locomotive to visit Epping Ongar Railway, namely D821 ‘Greyhound’, courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group and Severn Valley Railway.

As is usual with our Diesel Driver Experiences this is a 'unique' experience and is not shared. A guest of your choosing can, however, accompany you in the cab as you drive D821 between North Weald and Ongar. Guests are also welcome to ride in the train while you are driving your loco. You will also receive, at the end of your experience, a 'goody' bag with items from the Railway's shop.

All this for just £395 with Experiences departing at 0930, 1115, 1300, 1445 and 1630 on 16 and 30 September.

Class 42 Warship D821
Photo: Paul Winter

You will drive the locomotive for a total of 12 miles; firstly 6 miles light engine to get used to this twin Maybach powered locomotive, Then another 6 miles with coaches where you can experience the power of this machine climbing some of the steepest gradients in preservation.

Your experience starts at North Weald where you will be introduced to your personal driver instructor for your session. They will guide you through all you need to know in order to enjoy the thrill of driving this unique ex mainline locomotive. During your visit with you will also be able to visit our signal boxes and see how our beautifully restored signalling system works. At the end of your experience (or before) you are welcome to stay and ride behind the loco and experience this from the passengers' perspective.


What's included in your Warship Driver Experience?


Ready to book? 

Select your preferred date and time below!

If you'd like pay by cheque or bank transfer then please send an email to If you're buying this as a gift can you please provide the participant's name and send a note of your booking to the same email address and we'll take care of the rest.

We look forward to seeing you in the cab!

Course participants must be at least 18 years old and moderately physically fit, as they need to be able to gain access to and work within the confines of a locomotive cab. We do not apply an upper age limit; as long as participants are reasonably fit, agile, mentally capable and able to hear, understand and comply with instructions fully. If you have any concerns about this, we ask that you contact us to discuss prior to booking a course. This is to ensure everyone's safety and prevent possibly damaging our historic locomotives.

Full terms and conditions for our driver experiences can be found here

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