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Get on track for a chat with Santa
The launch of this year’s Santa Specials on local heritage trains was accompanied by suitably wintry weather.
As he flew into the district from the North Pole, Father Christmas was greeted by the coldest August night for more than a century. The first snow of the season was seen in Scottish mountains as Santa headed for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
He landed at Oakworth Station on Friday morning with four reindeer and a couple of elves in order to promote his festive train trips. Children visiting the railway were able to meet the reindeer and post their letters to Santa.
The day had brightened up following a night that saw temperatures across Bradford district fall to 2.8 degrees C.
Railway spokesman Matt Stroh said the Santa Specials were one of the most popular services on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
He said: “As a result we have had to open bookings even earlier as they tend to sell fast. We thought we’d do something different this year and while it might not be the festive season yet we thought it would be an event that brings an exciting finish to the school holiday for kids of all ages.”
The K&WVR is this year working closely with tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, and the railway believes this has led to the eight per cent increase in visitor numbers compared with last summer.
Mr Stroh said: “We’ve had a strong summer which is not just great news for our visitor numbers but it helps with repeat visits as we are an all-year- round attraction.”
The Santa Specials are a ten-mile return journey on steam trains, lasting around an hour, in decorated festive coaches. Santa and his pixies visit each child. For details visit kwvr.co.uk.