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All aboard the Santa Categorical! This steam prepare trip makes for an unforgettable Christmas journey

All aboard the Santa Categorical! This magical steam prepare trip makes for an unforgettable Christmas journey for all of the household

  • Eve McGowan and her daughter traveled on the Santa Steam Categorical on a round-trip from London Victoria
  • On board, carriages had been adorned with festive garlands and there have been Christmas carols piping out
  • ‘You would definitely be hard-pressed to discover a extra nostalgic and festive day trip,’ Eve writes

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If you end up every year making an attempt to recapture that feeling of Christmas marvel you skilled when younger, however by no means fairly succeeding, then a trip on the Santa Steam Categorical may very well be simply the ticket.

You would definitely be hard-pressed to discover a extra nostalgic and festive day trip – and your youngsters may fairly take pleasure in it too!

Run by The Steam Goals Rail Co, which focuses on day journeys and holidays touring on steam trains throughout the UK and Europe, the festive service departs on three spherical journeys a day from London Victoria on December 14, 16, 19 and 21.

Eve McGowan and her daughter boarded the Santa Steam Categorical (pictured) on a round-trip from London Victoria

The Mayflower is one of two surviving B1 Class locomotives that carried passengers and freight across the UK until the 1960s.

The Mayflower is considered one of two surviving B1 Class locomotives that carried passengers and freight throughout the UK till the Sixties.

Our magical expertise started earlier than we had even set foot on the prepare. As we headed in direction of Victoria, ready on the platform at Twickenham, our native station, the Santa Steam Categorical got here whizzing previous in a large plume of smoke on its journey round South and West London.

It meant we had been handled to the great spectacle of the Mayflower steam locomotive in all its glory – pistons pumping and the attractive wood-paneled carriages lit up with the delicate glow of golden lamps. Most fun of all for my daughter was a snatched sighting of Santa Claus, a blur of crimson and white, delivering presents to the youngsters on board.

Then, on the journey as much as Victoria Station, we shared our quite extra prosaic South Western Railway carriage with two rail lovers, each of whom had been armed with cameras and plentiful anecdotes about earlier sightings of the historic locomotive.

In-built 1948, it is considered one of two surviving B1 Class locomotives which carried passengers and freight throughout the UK till the Sixties. All this introduced again fond recollections of household holidays when my late father – who retrained as a prepare driver in his 50s – would take us on nation rambles the place we’d discover ourselves arriving at scenic railway bridges simply in time to see a steam locomotive chugging by .

Eve traveled in the first class carriage (pictured), which was 'super-cosy, with large, comfy seats'

Eve traveled within the top quality carriage (pictured), which was ‘super-cosy, with giant, cozy seats’

The tables were garlanded with Christmas decorations

The tables had been garlanded with Christmas decorations

I’m wondering what number of future prepare drivers had been among the many line of households ready to board the Santa Steam Categorical at Victoria?

The ambiance was considered one of jovial pleasure, with the engine driver and the remainder of the crew relaxed and pleasant because the passengers took it in turns to pose for pictures in entrance of the good-looking engine, decked within the placing apple-green livery of British Rail .

On board, our First Class carriage was super-cosy, with giant, cozy seats set round tables for 2 or 4, festive garland decorations and Christmas carols piping out. The addition of themed coloring actions for all the youngsters meant the grown-ups might take pleasure in mulled wine and mince pies in peace. Customary Class tickets are barely cheaper, however you may must forgo the mulled wine for tea or espresso.

There have been gasps of pleasure as we pulled out of the station.

Santa Claus and his elves made their way through the carriages to hand out presents to youngsters, explains Eve (stock image)

Santa Claus and his elves made their approach by way of the carriages handy out presents to children, explains Eve (inventory picture)

Eve describes the experience of riding the Santa Steam Express as being 'part of a Christmas movie'

Eve describes the expertise of driving the Santa Steam Categorical as being ‘a part of a Christmas film’

We headed over the River Thames at Grosvenor Bridge, previous Battersea Energy Station and on by way of the neighborhoods of Barnes and Chiswick. It felt as if we had been a part of a Christmas film as the youngsters and grown-ups we handed alongside the way in which pointed in delight.

Santa Claus and his elves made their approach slowly by way of the carriages, spending time at every desk to speak to the kids and hand out presents. The spherical journey took one hour quarter-hour, which is perhaps a bit too lengthy for very younger youngsters, however at 9 years outdated, my daughter was in her ingredient.

Youngsters solely keep true believers in Christmas magic for a brief blink-and-you’ll-miss-it second. Nevertheless, the recollections of our Christmas journey on the Santa Steam Categorical will final for for much longer.

TRAVEL FACTS

First Class tickets value £55 per grownup, £40 per youngster, or £275 for a bunch of six folks. Customary Class tickets are £40 per grownup, £30 per youngster (steamdreams.co.uk).

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