Santa & Steam in the Press

The Churnet Valley Railway is steadily gearing up for everybody's favourite time of the year, and one of the busiest for the team of volunteers, with the Christmas "Santa & Steam" Specials! Being part of Christmas traditions for generations, this family favourite returns once more to bring a magical start to the holidays with the chance to sit back and enjoy the Santa Express aboard a steam hauled service through the delightful Staffordshire Moorlands.

As Santa strolls through the train bearing hand-picked quality gifts for each little Boy and Girl, Mums, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas can relax and enjoy a mince pie and a glass of sherry in festive filled coaches which will delight all. Beginning your journey from either Froghall or Cheddleton station, each filled with festive atmosphere, there will be balloon modellers and magicians joining you to maintain the entertainment on board.

The look on my kids' faces when they spotted Santa making his way down the train was a sight to behold, and they were both fully engrossed in the whole experience from the first whistle.

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I can honestly say it was such a lovely, magical & memorable experience. I loved that fact that our meet and greet with Santa did not involve any long queues for Santa’s Grotto in the bitter cold and rain!

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Santa & Steam has grown in popularity year upon year & in 2019 has been ranked in the "Top 5 Places to Visit Santa in Staffordshire"

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With this increase in demand, for 2019 a slight variation of Santa & Steam is being offered, with "Santa by StarLight" being run on Wednesday evenings. Offering the same on-board experience as the traditional "Santa & Steam" service, these services will depart in the early evening and allow those unable to attend during the day a chance to meet Santa at dusk with departures ranging from 3.30pm to 8pm every Wednesday.

This is one of our favourite, and busiest, times at Churnet Valley Railway. Our Santa & Steam event is part of many families' Christmas celebrations. Kids of all ages tell us meeting Santa, riding on a steam train and getting a present is a perfect day out.

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Bookings can be made now on the dedicated "Santa & Steam" website, with all train journeys lasting approximately 1 hour 20 mins and everyone will be visited by Santa in their seat whilst his helpful elves will be on hand to assist with any on board needs.


Ticket prices start at £17 for adults, £12 for children over 2 years old and £7 for children under 2 years old.

A 10 percent group discount is available on groups of over 20 passengers, and groups of six to eight passengers can book a private compartment for £30.

The first journey begins on Saturday 30th November, with services every weekend and Wednesday on the lead up to Christmas, with additional services Christmas week including on Christmas Eve!

The Churnet Valley Railway relies on a network of over 100 regular volunteers and there are opportunities to get involved over the Christmas period. This includes helping Santa and his elves with preparing presents, distributing festive refreshments, meeting and greeting passengers at each station and assisting with on-board duties.

For more information, contact or call +44 1538 750755.

Our historic stations and classic coaches make the ideal setting to recreate a traditional Victorian Christmas and for children it's a magical experience – families come back year after year, it is part of their traditions now

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