Last Friday saw us entertain our first paying guest for the Tracks to the Trenches driver experience. The customer, who is apparently undertaking scholarly research into the use of light railways during the First World War, seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the day. This driver experience is unlike anything else in the heritage railway world. When you come to Apedale, you sign-up as a member of a Light Railway Operating Company in Northern France in 1917. As an operational member of the 6th LROC, you have just arrived in Bapaume and have reported for the days duties at the Company’s HQ. The Traffic Orders are communicated to you throughout the day, in the form of telegraphs. It is your responsibility to shunt and operate the trains to complete the assigned tasks, using both steam and diesel locomotives, to keep the lads at the front line supplied. If you really like, you can even have lunch in the Trench – but most seem to prefer the cafe, for some reason. Unfortunately, and despite the imminence of Back to the Future Day, we have neither a De Lorean nor an actual Time Machine – but this driver experience comes pretty close. In case you are wondering, we do not actually shoot at participants – and the day is a lot of fun for everyone. Visit here for more details and booking information – this really is the ideal Christmas present. Dress code – Khaki, complimented by Khaki. It really is this season’s colour.