With Father Christmas and his helpers on board, the Swanage Railway ‘Santa Specials’ will be spreading festive cheer every weekend during the run-up to Christmas Day and also on 22, 23 and 24 December, 2014.
Seats are still available on the 12-mile one-hour round trip via the picture postcard village of Corfe Castle.
Last year, 8,631 people travelled on the ‘Santa Special’ steam trains run by volunteers and assisted by a small team of paid staff – the total number of passengers being more than the combined populations of Wareham town and the village of Corfe Castle.
This year’s 44 festive trains spreading pre-Christmas cheer will be steaming a total distance of 530 miles, the equivalent distance from the Isle of Purbeck to the Atlantic port city of Bordeaux in southern France.
Youngsters will receive a wrapped present relevant to their age from Father Christmas while passengers will receive festive refreshments on board the ‘Santa Specials’ – a glass of sherry and a mince pie for adults as well as a biscuit and soft drink for children.
Swanage Railway volunteers are also running ‘Dorsetman’ three-course Christmas Luncheon trains on the last weekend of November and also during December weekends up to Christmas Day – including 23 December.
Some tables are still available, ask for details.
Proceeds from the ‘Santa Special’ trains go towards the extension and development of the award-winning Swanage Railway which has been rebuilt from nothing since 1976 and last year carried more than 211,000 passengers.
Swanage Railway General Manager Richard Jones said: “We’ve been running our popular ‘Santa Special’ steam trains for almost 30 years and their magical on-board atmosphere is the perfect way to enjoy the build up to Christmas Day. They are equally popular with children and adults alike.
“Passenger surveys carried out on our ‘Santa Special’ trains revealed a satisfaction rating of 94 per cent and a 97 per cent rating for the friendliness for the team of dedicated volunteers that makes the very special trains happen,” he added.
To book for the Swanage Railway’s festive ‘Santa Special’ and ‘Dorsetman’ Christmas Luncheon steam trains, just visit www.swanagerailway.co.uk or call 01929 475207.