Wensleydale Railway gets into the Christmas spirit with steam locomotive 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier

The Wensleydale Railway is celebrating the return of its festive Polar Express train ride.

There were no trains last year due to the pandemic, but this year over 42,000 passengers have booked and the event is sold out.

The trains will be hauled by ex-LMS Black Five 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier. The first train ran on November 19, helping passengers experience a very magical Christmas as they traveled to the North Pole.

After returning from the North Pole, The Lancashire Fusilier will carry two mince pie specials on December 27 and 28, with another diesel mince pie special on December 29 behind Class 14 D9523.

The trips will allow passengers to blow off their Christmas cobwebs and enjoy a festive journey in beautifully decorated Christmas cars with a complimentary mince pie.

The Wensleydale Railway is a 22-mile line that runs from Northallerton to Redmire, but Christmas trains will only run between Leeming Bar, Bedale and Leyburn stations.

Trains will run on December 27, 28 and 29, with an additional day of diesel running using Class 37 37250 between Leeming Bar and Constable Burton on December 24.

Tickets can be booked in advance by calling Wensleydale Railway on 01677 425805, or by booking through the railway’s website at www.wensleydale-railway.co.uk

Chris Williams, Managing Director of Wensleydale Railway, said: “After an extremely difficult eighteen months and having had to cancel our services last Christmas, we are delighted to welcome a Black Five to the railway. Not only will the engine run throughout the sold out Polar Express Train Ride events, it will also run for two days between Christmas and New Years. This is the first time a Black Five has visited us here in Wensleydale and we anticipate this to be an extremely popular event.”

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Jose P. Rogers