Santa Special trains deliver Christmas boost to railway line

January 17, 2013

Avon Valley Railway, the three-mile long heritage line between Bristol and Bath, received a festive boost from its Santa Special trains, which increased revenues by 18% in the run-up to Christmas.

The trains, which operated every weekend from November 25 until Christmas Eve, carried more than 11,500 passengers – all of whom got to meet Santa – with every child receiving a gift.

Demand was so high the railway, run by volunteers, took its first booking within minutes of the Santa Special site going live last June.

Development manager David Cole said: “We are delighted to have recorded such a huge increase in takings.

“We recognised that the economic climate is difficult so kept the price to the customer the same as 2011 and the feedback has been extremely positive.

“The Santa Specials are very popular but they also generate vital funds to keep the railway running.”

At the heart of Avon Valley Railway is Bitton Station, an original Midland Railway station, which, like the locomotives, carriages and track, has been restored by a team of dedicated enthusiasts.

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