The Lavender Line
We are currently looking for any working volunteers who have a love for steam and would like the opportunity of learning the ropes and becoming a member of our steam crews.
By starting off as a cleaner you will learn the basics of a working steam locomotive and the preparations that are involved in bringing one to life. You will join the driver and fireman on the footplate for the day which begins with the cleaning of the loco and shadowing the fireman in his fire lighting duties. After cleaning and preparations have taken place you will take the footplate with the driver and fireman where you get know what makes it tick.
Firing a steam engine is very much a juggling act with a constant eye on both water level and pressure; along with maintaining a healthy fire the duties of a fireman can soon become quite challenging.
There is no timeline on how long it takes to step up from cleaner to fireman but it does depend on how competent you are in carrying out these duties, for example a good fireman will leave the station with little smoke, carrying out the journey without running out of steam and without blowing off. Although the Lavender line is only a 2 and half mile round trip we do regularly carry out double runs with trains running just 10 minutes after arriving back at Isfield station!
If you have ever wanted to know what its like to be on the footplate of a working steam locomotive and learn the ropes then this could be your opportunity, we love to see new faces and we welcome any new volunteers who wish to become members of our steam crew. If steam engines aren’t your thing then why not inquire about our diesel crews, or even our guard’s roster. We are always on the look out for new members and no matter how little time you can give we appreciate any time you can spare.
Our next steam dates available for cleaning duties will be Sunday 4th, Sunday 11th and Sunday 18th December. Please contact us if you wish to join our steam crews on any of these dates and we will let you know what days are available. Due to insurance issues you must be a full Lavender line member and aged 14 or above.
On the other hand if you wish to experience the joys of driving and firing a steam engine for the day without the long term commitment then why not try a day with Clive Groome on one of his famous footplate days and ways experiences, click on ‘Driving courses’ on our website to find out more.