Frequently asked questions
I Didn’t Know You Were Here? How Long Have You Been Open?
We opened in 2009 – 50 years to the day the line was closed (February 1959). We hold many events during the year, details in the What’s On Section or leaflets in the foyer of The Sidings.
How do you fund the Railway?
The railway is funded with donations from individuals and companies, shop sales, train tickets and memberships. It also has the profits from food and drink sales passed back into the Society. Some staff are paid, but most of our staff are volunteers.
None of our Trustees are remunerated for the work they do.
Do you actually run trains?
Yes, we have a timetable each weekend see – Plan Your Visit or on the noticeboards in the foyer. Diesel trains can be booked during the week if you email info@whitwellstation or phone 01603 871684.
Where Do You Go? How Long Does it Take?
Our ride takes about fifteen minutes; it starts and finishes on Platform 3, outside The Sidings. The train will take you down our track besides the original main line.
Do you have a Steam Train?
Yes we run it the afternoon of the first Sunday in the month and the Sunday of Bank Holidays as well as Fathers’ Day.
Can I drive the Steam/Diesel Train?
Yes, booking is only online here.
Where do I buy tickets?
The ticket office is located in the station. This is open on Steam Sundays and event days. At all other times tickets are sold at the bar.
Can I take my buggy on the train?
There isn’t much space on the brake van. We ask that you leave your buggy either at the bottom of the steps or in the foyer if it’s raining.
How many steps are there to the Platform?
Seven. If you need help, please ask the guard to assist you.
Can I get my wheelchair on the train?
Sadly no, we are still working to get permission from various bodies, to use the original platform outside the station when we will be able to take wheelchairs. We apologise for this and are constantly doing our best to make it happen.
What are your toilet facilities?
We have a dedicated toilet block including an individual toilet for wheelchair users. This also has baby changing facilities and is available to anyone wishing for privacy.
Can children drive the train?
Diesel: I am afraid not. But they can go in the cab with an adult.
Steam: I am afraid not.
How old do you have to be to drive the train?
Sixteen, but – for diesel – children under that age can go in the cab with an adult.
What else can I do whilst I am here?
We have lots of things to keep you entertained during your stay with us. For the kids we have a play area out the back and a brio train table in the sun lounge. If you’d like to see behind the scenes, we’re able to offer tours of the engine sheds and signal box!
The Marriott’s Way (the original track bed) offers beautiful walks or cycling and runs alongside our station.
We didn’t like to come in; it looks like there’s a function on?
Please come in. Our cafe/restaurant/bar is spacious and occasionally gives that false appearance. On rare occasions when there is a function on in The Sidings we will always serve you either outside or in the station – a notice on the day will tell you what is happening.
Why isn’t Your menu on the website?
Our lunch menus vary so are only available to view in The Sidings. Every Sunday we offer a lovely roast lunch and on Steam Sundays we open at 9am for a cooked breakfast as well. Always available are a selection of cakes, teas, coffees, soft drinks and we have a licenced bar.
Can I take my dog inside?
Yes, dogs are welcome on leads everywhere on site except the back garden. We try to keep the lawn nice for weddings and children playing.
Where is your smoking area?
The tables on gravelled area by Platform 3. There are ashtrays available.
Can the children play football?
It’s not safe to play football as there are other customers nearby and as it is a working railway we don’t want balls over the fence and potentially children attempting to retrieve them. If you’re camping, there’s a dedicated football space.