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One Day Practical


online training


4 day practical


BESTT offers a variety of training courses and this page will be updated to reflect changes in the courses being offered. New courses and dates are also advertised on the BESTT Facebook page

BESTT courses are based on the relevant module and necessary documents are made available with each course. BESTT trainers are experienced professionals and practical training takes place at a heritage workshop.

All BESTT short courses require some previous experience in a workshop or other heritage engineering role and we ask trainees about this and health issues ahead of the course.

Costs vary from £120 for an online course plus 1 day practical course to £900 for a 4 day hot riveting course.  We ask that you pay a 25% deposit of the course cost to reserve a place. BESTT is a charity and only charges what the course costs to deliver. Courses require a minimum take up and agreed location in order to go ahead.

If you have any questions on course content, suitability etc or to enquire about a place please email:


BOILER WASHOUT and EXAMINATION. A 4 day course using a locomotive due for its 28 day washout and examination

The course includes the removal of washout plugs and mudhole doors. You will be shown how to inspect the internal accessible parts of the boiler including washout plug threads, mudhole/inspection openings and water gauge fittings. The use of water treatment is also discussed, in a classroom environment, and why it is necessary.

You will be shown how to box up the boiler, fill and steam to working pressure.

On a successful completion of the course you will be awarded a BESTT Certificate.

RIVETING. A 4 day course based on the Heritage Railway Association Boiler Code of Practice Guidance Notes.

The course includes pre course questions and a question and answer session at the end of the course. The candidate should have experience of workshop practices  to be accepted on the course.

You will be taught the basic use of oxy/propane in cutting old rivets from samples, the removal of rivets, drilling and reaming of holes in preparation for hot riveting. Also, the use of angle grinders and how to heat up rivets. You will be given tuition in riveting using a pneumatic riveting hammer and the opportunity to rivet.

Finally, you will be given a practical riveting test to undertake, which will be assessed by an independent assessor and if successful you will be awarded a BESTT Certificate

Short Boilersmith courses
(involving 2 online Zoom training sessions followed by a practical day at Hatch Steam Engineers, Swindon using special test rigs to develop practical skills and with reference to the HRA Boiler Code of Practice. Already available:


  • Tubing      The course will give the trainee an understanding of the function of boiler tubes, their care and renewal. It will cover techniques for tube removal, the correct method of examination and preparation of the tube plate to accept replacement tubes, methods for installing  replacement boiler tubes and achieving steam tightness.

  • In development: Boiler stays  This will include understanding the function of boiler stays and their repair, the principles and process for stay removal, the correct method of examination of boiler plate and stay holes, the preparation of stay holes to accept a new stay, the correct method of installation of a replacement stay, and the correct method of inspection and testing of stays.

  • In development Patch screws The course will give the trainee an understanding of the purpose of patch screws and why they are used in place of rivets, recognise why patch screws require replacement and methods for their removal, identify the correct methods of preparing boiler seams for acceptance of patch screws and correct methods of replacement. 

  • In development – expected later in 2022 White Metalling This 4 day practical course is intended to give learners an understanding of how to re-white metal line a bearing and fitting the bearing to a journal. The course will include lubrication principles of different plain bearings and an understanding of different materials used for bearings

  • Expected later in 2022 Wheels and Tyres This one day (plus online training) course will look at wheels, tyres and axles to provide training in measurement, examination for wear and defects. Course likely to be based in Yorkshire.

  • Other topics for training? If you wish to propose an area where a short course would be suitable please contact: enquiries@bestt.orguk

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