Catch Swanage Railway’s Polar Express at a discount

Golden tickets are being reduced by 25 percent for the last few days of the popular Polar Express train ride before Swanage Railway in Dorset resumes normal service.

The successful festive experience based on a children’s story written by Chris Van Allsburg and made into a film starring Tom Hanks, is an hour long return journey between Swanage and the magical North Pole, accompanied by singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate.

Polar express at Swanage Railway 2023
Andrew PM Wright

Last chance to catch the Polar Express from Swanage station!

Polar Express at Swanage Railway 2023

Telling the story through music and dance of two children who doubt the existence of Santa…

“We’ve had some absolutely incredible feedback”

The venture, organised by the event company Rail Events Inc and delivered by Fused Events and music company Crosstown Concerts in partnership with Swanage Railway, started in November 2023 and ends on Saturday 30th December 2023.

For the last few days, using the discount code TWIXMAS25 reduces the cost of a seat by 25 percent, with a typical price of £37.80 each, which while still expensive for many, is the cheapest they’ve been offered at.

A spokesperson for the Swanage Polar Express train ride said:

“Good news, we’ve just added a 25 per discount code for travel between the 27th and the 30th of December aboard The Polar Express.

“We’ve had some absolutely incredible feedback about this event, so why not come and see it for yourself? Use the code before you select your seats and take advantage of this great offer.”

Polar Express at Swanage Railway
Andrew PM Wright

Look who appears as a VIP passenger!

Polar express at Swanage Railway 2023
Andrew PM Wright

Steam locomotive Eddystone has played a starring role over the festive period

Typical English heritage experience

Once the Hollywood-inspired Polar Express heads north for its final time, it’s going to be replaced with the typically English heritage service that passengers on Swanage Railway are more accustomed to.

A restored 1950s heritage diesel train is to operate a two day Winter Explorer service between Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Swanage on Sunday 31st December 2023 and New Year’s Day, Monday 1st January 2024.

For those who prefer their train journeys without singing and dancing and are happy to bring their own tea and biscuits, it promises a more relaxed experience!

Class 117 heritage diesel train driver Tim Reynolds
Andrew PM Wright

Swanage Railway volunteer train driver Tim Reynolds operating the Class 117 heritage diesel

Class 117 heritage diesel train at Corfe Castle
Andrew PM Wright

What could be more English than a journey past Corfe Castle on a 1950s ex-British Railways Class 117 diesel mechanical multiple unit – known as a DMMU for short?

“Important part of this country’s post-war railway history”

Chair of the Swanage Railway Company Gavin Johns said:

“The diesel hauled trains represent an important part of this country’s post-war railway history as they were developed as part of the 1955 modernisation plan drawn up by British Railways.

“Replacing steam trains, they were used on branch lines and secondary routes for almost 50 years – the last of the now heritage trains being withdrawn in the early to mid-1990s.

“With windows all the way round the 1950s heritage unit, it gives passengers wonderful views and is the perfect way to explore the Isle of Purbeck, which is part of the Jurassic Coast.

“There is also the chance to sit behind the driver and watch, through a glass window, the driver at the controls of the train as the diesel unit runs along the tracks.”

Class 117 heritage diesel train at Swanage Railway
Andrew PM Wright

The Winter Explorer two day diesel train service will operate between Swanage and Norden

Class 117 heritage diesel train at Corfe Castle
Andrew PM Wright

Great views of the Purbeck countryside from the train carriage windows

Six trains a day

Operating six trains a day, the Winter Explorer heritage diesel train service will depart Norden at 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00pm, and leave Swanage at 11.00 am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 4.30pm.

Return tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children. Unlimited day travel is £25 for adults and £12.50 for children.

Steam trains, along with the diesels, will return to Swanage Railway for the Winter Warm Up weekend of Saturday 6th January and Sunday 7th January 2024.

Further information

  • Use discount code TWIXMAS25 to book the Polar Express until Saturday 30th December 2023 for a 25 percent price reduction via its website
  • More about the Winter Explorer diesel service is on the the Swanage Railway website

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