Learn to drive an engine

l'équipe du train des mouettes

Drive a real steam engine!

During a 3 day long immersion course spent on the Saujon to Tremblade line, you will learn from professionals how to manoeuvre and drive a steam locomotive.

Your accommodation during the course will be a sleeper car at the Chaillevette engine shed. After learning about the theory and practice of driving an engine, you will move on to driving a diesel locomotive before finally being able to prepare and drive a locomotive listed as a historic monument!


  • Day 1 : Lessons on theory, the practice of safety regulations and the operation of a railway. Tour of the engine shed and demonstration of how a steam engine works.
  • Day 2 : Taking it in turns, you will accompany a driving team aboard one of our regular trains. A diesel locomotive will be available so that you can familiarise yourself with the operation of the engine’s brakes.
    Time on your hands?…the workshop is always open for you to explore.
  • Day 3 : Wake at dawn to prepare and heat up the steam train. Then during the day you will have a turn at playing the role of driver and fireman as the train travels from Chaillevette to Mornac-sur-Seudre. 6 special trains will run especially for the occasion!
  • Dates available in 2024:
    • Saturday 27 April – Monday 29 April
    • Saturday 14 September- Monday 16 September

Cost: €540

Important information

  • Location: Chaillevette station
  • Meals included from Saturday lunchtime to Monday lunchtime.
  • Accommodation in a sleeper car included (bed linen provided)
  • Minimum age requirement: 18
  • Number of participants per course: 6
  • Clothing required:
    • 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.
    • Scarf / neckerchief
    • Cap
  • Discover the engines you will be working with here
  • No refunds given for cancellations made less than 15 days before the booked date.

Enquiries and bookings:service@trainsettraction.fr