The famous attraction is preparing for its busiest time of the year, with tens of thousands of passengers expected to join the festive fun during December.
Star of the show, none other than Father Christmas himself, will be arriving with his jolly team of elves, fresh from Lapland to launch a busy range of family-favourite services, including the much-loved Santa Steam Specials, running on selected dates from December 5th -24th.
The SVR’s fleet of resident steam locomotives will be buffed and polished, ready to take families on exciting return steam train journeys from Kidderminster, through the scenic Severn Valley, to meet Santa in his special grotto at Arley Station.
Santa’s team of elves will be on hand to welcome visitors, and after meeting the big man himself, each fare-paying child will receive a present.
Visitors can then soak up the festive atmosphere of Arley Station at their leisure, enjoying some seasonal music favourites and indulging in some traditional treats including hot roasted Chestnuts, before boarding the train for the return trip to Kidderminster. Always a sell-out, visitors are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.
Keeping a busy schedule this year, Father Christmas will also be welcoming families on board his Santa Herald services, on December 21st, 22nd and 23rd, when he will visit everyone on the train, handing out presents and posing for festive ‘selfies’ during the journey to Highley, so don’t forget your camera!
Schools and nursery groups looking for an exciting trip out can enjoy the Christmas Cracker Express services, on selected dates from December 1st – 16th.
For fans of a good seasonal sing-along, the SVR’s Christmas Carol Trains, on December 12th and 19th are ideal. Visitors can board the diesel train for a jolly journey, stopping off at Bewdley and Arley to sing carols before the train takes them on to The Engine House Visitor Centre at Highley for a rousing evening of carol singing, led by the New Dimensional Experience Choir on the 12th and the Kidderminster Male Choir on the 19th. Visitors can also warm their vocal chords with a warming glass of punch and mince pie to start.
A truly indulgent festive dining experience is also on offer on the SVR’s Christmas Dining Trains and Festive Season Luncheon Trains. These special dining trains offer visitors the chance to wine and dine in style while travelling through the picturesque Severn Valley countryside from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth and return, for Christmas luncheon or evening dinner. Advance booking is essential for these services.
Alternatively, the Christmas Carvery Service, offering return diesel train travel from Kidderminster to The Engine House Visitor Centre, enables visitors to enjoy the many exhibits on offer before enjoying a leisurely lunch.
And when all the excesses of Christmas are over, those looking for a way to relax can enjoy the SVR’s Festive Season Services, running from Boxing Day until January 3rd. Leisurely steam train trips along the Severn Valley will be on offer throughout the period and the Engine House Visitor Centre, with its range of interactive exhibits, will be open.
Clare Gibbard, the SVR’s marketing and communications manager, said: “Christmas is always a magical time of year, for all ages and our range of festive services are undoubtedly some of the most popular in our entire events calendar.
“Last year, we welcomed more than 32,000 passengers on our Santa Steam Specials and Santa Heralds alone, and we are looking forward to another sell-out year to round-off our Golden Jubilee in style.”
Tickets for the Santa Steam Specials, Santa Heralds and Christmas Carol Trains will be on sale from Monday (September 14th). For more information, visit www.svr.co.uk
Santa Steam Specials/Santa Heralds/Christmas Carol Trains – 01562 757900
Christmas dining car bookings – 01562 757900
Christmas carvery at the Engine House – 01746 862387
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