cheminot charbon

A day on the rails

Your day begins at 9:00 when you arrive at Chaillevette station – home to our engine sheds, packed full of wonders: rolling stock in the midst of renovation, engines, carriages and trucks, some listed as historic monuments. After being kitted out, you will help light the fire and bring the engine up to steam.

By late morning  the engine will be ready to pull the Train des Mouettes and you will learn more about the work of a driver and fireman on board the footplate. Surrounded by the unique smells and sights of the steam engine, you will experience the Charentais countryside from a whole new perspective.

Once the train arrives at Saujon, the engine is topped up with water from the standpipe and you will top up your energy levels with lunch, enjoyed in the company of the whole team.

Finally the steam train will head on to La Tremblade and will finish its journey at Chaillevette at around 17:30. Here, you will end the day by helping with disposal and maintenance of the engine before bidding your colleagues farewell and returning home for a well-deserved shower and rest.

Discover our other gift ideas: engine driver course !

cheminot charbon

Cost: 150€ – During 2024



Philippe, railway worker 17 August 2021

“On 17 August, I took part in a day on the rails. It was a great experience to be in the company of Jean Michel (fireman) and Aurélien (driver). Thank you to them for making me welcome, for their kindness, good humour, patience and guidance. Thank you to all the volunteers who work hard daily to make childhood dreams a reality. I had a wonderful, rewarding, pleasant day. And thank you to my children and grandchildren for the surprise gift!”

Important information

  • Location:  Gare de Chaillevette
    2 rue de la brousse
    17890 Chaillevette
  • Meals included
  • Minimum age requirement: 18
  • Clothing for the day:
    • Hard-wearing clothing which covers your arms and legs, 100% cotton (no synthetic materials). Beware – your clothing will get covered in dirt and grease!
    • Safety shoes or walking boots, preferably with ankle support.
    • A pair of gloves
    • Cap
    • Scarf / neckerchief
  • Booking compulsory a minimum of 15 days in advance Our 2024 timetable is available on the Timetables & Fares page.
  • No refunds given for cancellations made less than 15 days before the booked date