Mat and I went to the NSME ground on one of their club running days. Peter, the chairman, very kindly gave us both an impromptu lesson on driving a miniature steam train. It is not too hard, but stressful considering that you need to not let the fire go out (train stops and won’t start again for a while!) or let the boiler run dry (melting, ruination), whilst ensuring that the train isn’t going too fast or through a red light.
Neither of us are afraid to admit we went for the safe approach of driving about 300m, then stopping, adding more water or coal as required, and then driving on again. That little train isn’t cheap – we didn’t want to break it!
Membership of NSME, as well as giving you access to the laser cutter of Northackton, also allows driving the club locomotives.