Coalfields Memorial Railway is attracting visitors from as far away as Spain - and its steam locomotive 'experience days' are booked up until May 2014.
Chairman Del Tilling, 62, said the railway, also known as Elsecar Heritage Railway, was attracting visitors via a national 'experience day' website.
He said: "We're trying to fit in all the people who want to come and drive our 'Mardy Monster' locomotive and have 500 bookings. It's been a bit of a problem to accommodate them all. Visitors come from as far afield as Northern Ireland, Holland and Spain."
The line offers an hour or two hour courses on its locomotives and these are proving popular with people of all ages. The 'Mardy Monster' is the most powerful industrial steam locomotive ever built in the UK.
"Having 55 tons of power at their command is thrilling for people," said Del. "We have a dozen people who have become full time members and volunteers after going on our courses. The railway has been very busy all summer."
The group also has a second locomotive on hire and is raising between £85,000 and £100,000 for its own 'resident' locomotive, the Earl Fitzwilliam, to be repaired.
"We are planning to paint it in the same colours as Thomas the Tank Engine," said Del.
The line runs a mile-and-a-half from Elsecar Heritage Centre to Tingle Bridge Lane in Hemingfield but the heritage group, which runs it, wants to extend it another mile to Cortonwood.
They are appealing for public support after funding was rejected for a railway station and mining memorial to be built at Cortonwood and intend to resubmit their bid for funding in a month or two. They are also starting an online petition.
The group aims to raise the profile of the railway as a heritage tourist attraction and wants to develop partnerships with local schools so children can learn about coalfields heritage and the flora and fauna along the line.