Vintage train fires up for festive services
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk is officially on track to have a merry Christmas following the launch of festive services on a heritage railway.
The first service of Norfolk Norfolk Railway's Norfolk Lights Express made its way from Sheringham to Holt and back again, with services to continue daily (apart from December 24-26) until the middle of next month.
Many services have already sold out for the festive experience, in which a brightly-lit steam train passes by illuminated displays set up along the railway's route.
Andrew Munden, the railway's general manager, said he was thrilled the attraction had returned to north Norfolk after its first successful run last year.
Mr Munden said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer the Norfolk Lights Express again this year.
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"The result of our efforts was great to see on the first trips of this season. Customers seemed over the moon that we have succeeded in putting the event on again with many saying it had lifted their spirits seeing the amazing scenes and light display in these difficult times.”
Guests enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine as the train went along.
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Mr Munden said plans for the service had to be changed due to the second lockdown - they had wanted to start it on November 16 - which was the reason the services would run into mid-January.
He said a lot of work had gone into making the services Covid-secure, and the train had been treated with a special anti-virus spray.
He said: "We have managed to ensure that we comply with the government requirements, which have been substantial.
"While we had to cancel trains, due to operate in November, we have rolled the operation over and extended it until the January 17 so most customers have been able to re book and in fact we can now offer more capacity for others to also join this fantastic, safe experience."
Last year, extra services had to be added to cope with the unexpected popularity of the service.
The North Norfolk Railway is also operating its traditional Santa Express trains, starting on Saturday, December 5, up until Christmas.