A bumper Christmas at the Leighton Buzzard Railway

Stephen Doughty, Leighton Buzzard Railway  |  Published: Dec 30th 2017

Volunteers are celebrating a bumper Christmas at the Leighton Buzzard Railway.

Over five thousand passengers enjoyed the Santa Specials, the highest number since 2006.

As well as being able to offer a new station for visitors to enjoy, the numbers were boosted by the new "Santa After Dark" services offering Santa and entertainment on the train which were fully sold out with over 400 passengers. 

Traffic Manager Nick Burton commented ‘We are delighted. On 23 December we carried 845 passengers over the 12 trains, including four ‘Santa After Dark’ services, a record number of passengers in one day. The total has also been achieved in spite of losing a day's services on 10 December due to the snow. The Santa After Dark’ service proved to be a real hit. The new service, which operated on just a few days to test public interest, has proved exceptionally popular and we will need to provide more trains in 2018’.

Passengers have also praised the all-volunteer service. One review on Trip Advisor commented:

"Great value for money, children and adults enjoyed the train ride. All staff/volunteers were so helpful and friendly. Gifts the children were given exceeded expectation and I loved the personal touch of the printed carrier bags and Christmas card. Would definitely recommend."

And the organiser of a birthday party for 22 on a very crowded ‘Santa After Dark’ train summed it up:

"Thank you so much, the Santa train was so much fun and we all had a brilliant time. Now my younger one wants a train birthday party (in September!)! We really appreciate you putting on the extra 1900 train and the birthday girl was so thrilled, what a great birthday surprise! Merry Christmas!"

The Railway wishes to thank Aldi for their generous contribution towards our Christmas specials.

Summarising the Santa result, Chairman Terry Bendall expressed his thanks to everyone who came along to enjoy the fun, passengers and volunteers alike. ‘We still have much to do. There is always room for improvement but the numbers suggest we are heading in the right direction.  At the end of the day what we can do depends on how many volunteers we have and we would be delighted to see some new faces.  Our Volunteering Day on Sunday March 18th with special discount fares of £4 for adults and £2 for children is a great way to find out how you can help – hope to see you there!’

Aldi Mince Pies - credit & copyright Liam Smith
Aldi Mince Pies - credit & copyright Liam Smith
Doll - credit & copyright William Shelford
Doll - credit & copyright William Shelford
Doll at Christmas - credit & copyright William Shelford
Doll at Christmas - credit & copyright William Shelford
Santa - credit & copyright William Shelford
Santa - credit & copyright William Shelford
ticket office - credit & copyright William Shelford
ticket office - credit & copyright William Shelford
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