IT’S NEARING that time of year again…

We are already thinking forward to that very special night before the big day when the snow is falling, the tree is decorated, the carols are being sung, and the gifts are on their way as Santa will already be making his deliveries.

For many of us, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same if the family hadn’t enjoyed a journey on the Santa Special train, with the chance to visit the Winter Wonderland at Oxenhope and to enjoy the festivities on board the steam-hauled special train.

As ever, we had requests to open the bookings as soon as the final Santa Special of 2016 ran on last year’s Christmas Eve, so we opened bookings at the end of July.

Already, over a third of the Christmas Eve trains have been sold, so do please book soon to avoid disappointment.

You can book on line, so please visit the website or call the office to make a booking.

Of course, it’s not Christmas just yet, even if the weather is at times a bit wintry at the moment, and we have plenty of steam trains running before then.

To help you enjoy the “summer”, we are running trains seven days per week until September 10, with a vintage bus service that is free to Rover rail ticket holders (running until September 3) and offers stunning views across the moors.

The bus also takes you to the top of Haworth village, from where you can visit the famous Brontë Parsonage and, with a Rover ticket, enjoy a 10 per cent discount on a family ticket to the Parsonage.

If you want to make your train journey even more special, every weekday afternoon until September 1 you with the 19 lines can enjoy a luxurious cream tea on board our Dining Car.

All details of train times, the vintage ‘bus and the cream tea services are on the railway’s website.

Looking forward to next year, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the railway by the Preservation Society in 1968.

We are planning an eight-day gala event from June 24 to July 1, 2018, to mark the occasion, with the reopening itself having been on June 29.

I hope that we can celebrate the anniversary year with a record number of volunteers, so please do consider joining our team, whatever your level of experience and time you can offer.

We offer full training in a variety of roles involved in operating the trains, and we are always looking for people to help with the behind-the-scenes work required to run the railway, including engineering and maintenance as well as our commercial activities.

Do please get in touch if you would like to learn more, or visit the website for further details of volunteering and forthcoming events and times of trains.