Off to see Santa - but snow isn't guaranteed! (pic Ian Crowder)
Steam and Santa on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Trains running November weekends
‘Santa Experience’ Covid-compliant trains run from 28 November
‘Mince Pie Specials’ daily from 27th December – 3rd January
All trains start and finish at Toddington station
Tickets bookable on-line in advance (Santa tickets only on-line)
Winchcombe 4 October 2020: The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has announced additional running days for 2020 as well as a series of ‘Santa Experience’ trains.
To the end of October the railway continues to operate round trips from Toddington station on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition, trains will run over the weekends of 7th/8th; 14th/15th and 21st/22nd November.
From Saturday 28th November, ‘Santa Experience’ trains will operate in a manner reflecting the Government’s social guidelines (and provided more severe restrictions are not imposed).
Graham Radband, the railway’s volunteer commercial director comments: “It has been difficult planning our services for the rest of the year given the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 restrictions but our volunteers were keen to offer our loyal visitors a memorable Santa service.
“We have successfully operated trains since 15th August and thankfully, the trains have been very popular. We are now well practiced at managing the necessary hygiene and social distancing measures to ensure the safety of our volunteers and visitors.
“This has given us the confidence to organise a ‘Santa Experience’ right up to Christmas. We know families love travelling by train to see Santa and that’s just what we will do. But of course, there are changes to ensure that everyone is kept safe.”
The ‘Santa Experience’ will start and finish only at Toddington station GL54 5DT. The trains will run to Winchcombe station and back. At Winchcombe, refreshments will be offered including mulled wine the railway’s famous mince pies and families will be taken to meet Santa – although at a socially safe distance.
Graham Radband points out: “Sadly, Santa and his elves have to maintain social distancing just like everyone else. But not only will children enjoy from Santa good quality gifts reflecting the their age, but a ‘goody bag’ too!
“Last year we took over 11,000 people to meet Santa. But because we have to limit the number of people on each train, this time we have about half that number of seats available. By this time last year, many of our trains were already sold out – so when tickets go on sale we expect them to go very quickly!”
Advance bookings will be available from 1st November and must be booked online. Tickets, costing just £20 per person (children under 1 go free) should be printed at home or retained on a smart device to show staff when they arrive.
All services are, of course, subject to any further restrictions announced by the Government.
Ends / more
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Copyright free pictures of past Santa services can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0snbzj3qyy307un/AACOkxinAR-A2xaWmEaZSz_oa?dl=0
Ian Crowder, 07775 566555 or email@example.com
Bryony Exton, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the GWSR
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway operates over 14 miles through the Cotswolds between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the railway has, since 15th August operated round trips only from Toddington station, bookable in advance. Turn-up-and-go tickets have been available subject to space being available. The Santa Experience service described reflects current Government guidelines and is not the same as previous years’ Santa Specials – however the railway is keen to ensure that young visitors and families have as enjoyable experience as possible at a time when many Santa events are not taking place. The £20 ticket price includes return train trip between Toddington and Winchcombe (aka ‘North Pole’); refreshments for children and adults, childrens’ gifts and goody bags. The Flag & Whistle Tea Room at Toddington station will be open. Location of Toddington Station is off the B4077 Stow Road close to the roundabout with the B4632 Winchcombe-Broadway road at GL54 5DT or What3Words trials.composers.turntable
November trains run Saturdas and Sundays
Santa Experience trains run Saturdays and Sundays:
19/20 December; and
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 22-24 December.
Post-Christmas trains (two train timetable, round trips from Toddington) operate daily from Sunday 27th December 2020 – Sunday 3rd January 2021