Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Santa Specials set for record-breaking year

Where: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

When: Throughout December (selected dates)

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway's Santa Specials are set to break records again as ticket sales gather pace with only a few weeks to go before the first 'Santa Specials' depart for the North Pole.

The season gets under way from the weekend of December 1 with more than 70 trains scheduled to take excited youngsters and their families to meet Father Christmas. More than half of seats are already taken while some are already fully booked.

But the special steam trains from Cheltenham Racecourse to the North Pole (at Winchcombe) will begin on Sunday, November 25, with a very special steam train for around 65 children supported by charities Winston's Wish, Acorns Children's Hospice Trust and Riding for the Disabled. This train leaves Cheltenham Racecourse at 11am and is already fully booked.

This is an initiative of the railway's steam locomotive department and enthusiastically supported by the Santa Special team of volunteers.

Steam locomotive department volunteer Chris Blake, who is spearheading the special train, says: "We bring such a lot of delight for children throughout December but many miss out from the opportunity to enjoy something like this because of severe illness, disability or a family bereavement.

"It is the fifth year we have done this and it brings such a huge amount of pleasure to these special youngsters. It makes a real difference not just to their lives but ours too."

Colin Fewell, the railway's volunteer commercial director, said: "We expect to carry over 10,000 people on our trains this December. Many are already sold out but there are still some seats available.

"I'm overwhelmed by how popular our Santa Specials are. We simply can't run any more trains - if we could I'm sure we would fill them too!"

Over 45 steam trains will run right up to Christmas Eve. They start from Cheltenham Racecourse every weekend up to Christmas as well as daily from Thursday, December 20, to the North Pole where everyone gets an opportunity to meet Santa in his specially converted railway carriage while youngsters each receive a quality gift.

In addition, Santa will be travelling on a diesel railcar service from Toddington station along the line towards Broadway as far as Laverton.

Free refreshments are offered to travellers at Winchcombe including hot mince pies which are made locally to a special recipe for the railway.

Full details of the services, ticket availability and how to book are on the railway's website at 

Subscribe to Punchline

Related Articles

The Moon Exhibition lands at the Museum of Gloucester Image

The Moon Exhibition lands at the Museum of Gloucester

Get a little closer to our nearest neighbour when The Moon Exhibition comes to the Museum of Gloucester this summer!

An evening with Wales' most successful rugby coach Image

An evening with Wales' most successful rugby coach

Hot on the heels of delivering a record-breaking third Grand Slam in this year’s Six Nations, spend an evening in the company of Warren Gatland, Wales’ most successful rugby coach in history.

Summer fun in store for visitors to Sudeley Castle Image

Summer fun in store for visitors to Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle is preparing for its busiest and most fun-packed summer ever.

It's All Hands on Deck for touring company Image

It's All Hands on Deck for touring company

Mikron Theatre return to Gloucestershire on their vintage narrowboat next month to bring their new show All Hands on Deck to Randwick Village Hall, near Stroud.

Copyright 2019 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.