Footplate Department - Cleaner / Trainee - Stephenson Steam Railway

In the footplate department, volunteers start out as engine cleaners / diesel trainees before becoming trainee firemen. Cleaners carry out shed turns to help the driver and fireman prepare and clean the locomotive for the day's work.

This is a great way to learn how our steam / diesel locomotives work and how they are operated. After one or two shed turns, a cleaner will become a trainee fireman, spending the day on the locomotive and (among many things) learn the purposes of the controls, how to couple the engine to the coaches and (on steam locos) how to fire.


No experience or training is required to start as a cleaner. However, it is usual for a cleaner to spend a couple of turns assisting the crew to prepare the locomotive on shed before a full day as a trainee fireman.

Volunteers must be 16 years old to begin working on the footplate.


  • Ongoing support
  • Training provided

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 24/04/2023

End Date: 01/04/2025

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Afternoon Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Evening No No No No No No No


Stephenson Steam Railway,
Middle Engine Lane
North Shields
Tyne & Wear
NE29 8DX

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