Swanage’s Polar Express proves popular as more tickets released

With 95 percent of tickets sold, the team running the festive Polar Express at Swanage Railway has added extra carriages to the trains in the run up to Christmas.

Creating the extra capacity means that there’s now more tickets available for the railway experience that’s based on the film of the same name starring Tom Hanks.

Polar Express at Swanage Railway
Andrew PM Wright

At the North Pole (or should that be Norden Pole?!), the Polar Express picks up a very important passenger

Singing, dancing, hot chocolate and cookies

During the one hour trip up to the North Pole, passengers are given hot chocolate and cookies while being entertained by singing and dancing, as well as receiving a special present from Santa if they’ve been good!

Additional carriages are being laid on for the Polar Express trips on Friday 15th, Monday 18th, Wednesday 20th and Saturday 23rd December 2023. With the final departure taking place on Saturday 30th December 2023.

Polar express at Swanage Railway 2023
Andrew PM Wright

The Polar Express chugs through the stunning Purbeck scenery including Corfe Castle

Polar Express at Swanage Railway 2023 with Gareth Walker

Creative director of the Swanage Railway’s Polar Express train ride, Gareth Walker

“Perfectly encapsulated the true essence of the film”

Gareth Walker, creative director of the Polar Express train ride in Swanage said:

“It’s been such an honour being able to work with a team that fully embraces the meaning of Christmas. Witnessing the magic, watching the snow fall, and seeing children’s faces light up, makes every moment of this experience worth it.

“All of the actors, as well as the team behind Swanage Railway, and everyone who’s been involved, have all perfectly encapsulated the true essence of the film, and the spirit of Christmas.”

Polar Express at Swanage Railway
Andrew PM Wright

The conductor on the Polar Express asks,”Well…you coming?”

Polar express at Swanage Railway 2023
Andrew PM Wright

Swanage station transformed for the festive season

Only limited number of seats now remaining

Swanage Railway has in the past run Santa Specials and a Steam and Lights Train at Christmas, but for the first time it’s offering the glitzy, high octane Polar Express railway experience.

The event has been organised by the event company Rail Events Inc and delivered by Fused Events and music company Crosstown Concerts.

Swanage Railway, which is being paid to operate the trains, was keen to take the opportunity to bolster its income with the high profile event, following a year of rising operating costs and declining passenger numbers compared to pre Covid times.

With ticket prices for adults and children starting at £41 in November and rising up to £58.80 on Christmas Eve, it was possible that too many would deem the event unaffordable, although the prices are in line with the cost of London West End theatre tickets. However there’s only a limited number of seats now remaining across all trips.

Polar express at Swanage Railway 2023
Andrew PM Wright

There’s snow on the Polar Express, even in Swanage’s mild climate!

Polar Express at Swanage Railway 2023

The platform at Swanage station is decked with twinkling lights

“Tinged with a thread of emotion”

In Swanage, many children have been able to enjoy the experience due to the generous donation of tickets to schools and the Mayor’s Fund. Swanage town mayor Tina Foster was able to gift tickets to two local families nominated by Lewis-Manning Hospice Care.

Jo Sharkey from Lewis Manning said:

“Thanks to the mayor’s generosity we were able to treat two very grateful families to this magical trip – families that during 2023 have accessed our family bereavement counselling service.

“It was a wonderful and enjoyable experience, an amazing opportunity for the children, so much fun but also tinged with a thread of emotion after what has happened in these children’s lives this year. It was a very poignant time.”

The children added:

“We loved it, it was great fun and very exciting! Thank you to the mayor for making this possible for us to enjoy!”

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