Despite COVID-19 restrictions and limitations, the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway’s Santa Specials were a success, with all trains sold out.
Events Manager Rose Weller was praised for handling the worrying aspects of social distancing and separate carriage compartments with skilful direction.
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Steam trains ran from Brockford Station to ‘North Pole Halt’, where the children had an individual meeting with Santa at his Christmas Guards Van.
The Stations, Brockford and ‘North Pole Halt’ were fully decorated in full Christmas style.
Just under 1,000 visitors in all enjoyed the unique atmosphere created at Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum.
The Santa Special’s genuine Great Eastern Railway Victorian four-wheeled coaches are a historical experience for any passengers, especially younger ones and other entertainment including a traction engine, showman’s organ and model railway added to the event.
To be COVID-19 safe, all seats were booked in advance and bookings were by compartment. The Middy Events Department rigged perspex screens in the carriages to isolate family groups.
Passengers were asked to arrive 15 minutes before their booked departure and were requested to be as punctual as possible due to the extra cleaning regime necessary to be COVID-19 compliant. All visitors had to wear masks in and around the railway’s public areas and to their train, but everyone complied with good grace.
Many visitors expressed their thanks to volunteers for the sympathetic handling of families, car parking and the meeting of the man himself.
Although the full Christmas show was not possible this year and no refreshments were provided, there was definitely enough of a festive atmosphere to entertain the visitors, especially the under 10s.
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