The Kent & East Sussex Railway’s Santa Specials are a highlight of the year, and enormous efforts by volunteers at the heritage line have meant the format of the event has been planned to keep visitors and staff safe in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Spokesman Helen Douglas, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We’ve been running it for approaching 50 years and we were determined not to let down the thousands of passengers who eagerly await this unique Christmas treat. “Inevitably, we have had to make some changes, but we’re confident it will be as jolly as ever and just speaking with customers who have made their bookings has highlighted how much the public want something that they can look forward to together.” “We’ve introduced extra precautions to ensure our visitors and staff are kept safe, including reducing the number of passengers on each day so groups are socially distanced and contact with other people is minimised.”
Already, 70% of the reduced number of tickets have been sold, including all private compartments.
Santa Specials will be running on 5,6,12,13,19,20, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December. There will also be a
‘Quiet Day’ service on 29 November, for children on the autistic spectrum or who would benefit
from a more relaxed environment. This has proved extremely popular since it was introduced three
years ago and you can be assured that on this date the Railway will still be offering the full
programme of events and activities for everyone to enjoy!
Trains depart from Tenterden at regular intervals from 10:30am for a 70-minute return trip through
the beautiful Kent-Sussex countryside. Father Christmas will be on-board, handing out presents for children aged 11 and under, and
chocolates for those aged 12-15.
There will be a complimentary refreshment pack for every family, an on-board magician, a Christmas
model village to view and free rides on the vintage gallopers at Tenterden station plus a free family
Helen Douglas of the Railway said: ‘It’s a fantastic package and we’re delighted that we’ve managed to
ensure as many people as possible can enjoy a Christmas treat. Tickets are selling very quickly but socially
distanced tables in open plan carriages are still available to book.”
To promote this years Christmas trains, the Railway have launched an exciting new poster campaign
inspired by the much-loved “Jolly Fisherman of Skegness” poster made famous by the LNER.
Full details of the Santa Specials can be found online https://kesr.org.uk/santa-specials-online-booking.
Tables of four are priced from £90 when purchased online.
The Tenterden booking office will be open between 10am and 2pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays for queries, bookings via the office will be
subject to a small administration fee.
There is limited free parking for Passengers for their visit at Tenterden Town Station.
Bookings can be made via the railway’s website https://kesr.org.uk/santa-specials-online-booking
The Railway also planning to run steam train services over the New Year period.