The Wensleydale Railway gets into the Christmas spirit with the 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier steam locomotive

The Wensleydale Railway celebrates the return of its festive ride on The Polar Express train.

There were no trains last year due to the pandemic, but this year more than 42,000 passengers have booked and the event is sold out.

Trains will be transported by ex-LMS Black Five 45407 The Lancashire Rifleman. The first train operated on November 19, allowing passengers to experience a very magical Christmas on their journey to the North Pole.

After returning from the North Pole, The Lancashire Rifleman will carry two mince pie specials on December 27 and 28, with another diesel pie special on December 29 behind class 14 D9523.

The trips will allow passengers to blow their Christmas cobwebs and enjoy a festive journey in beautifully decorated Christmas cars with a free minced pie.

The Wensleydale Railway is a 35km line that runs from Northallerton to Redmire, but Christmas trains will only run between Leeming Bar, Bedale and Leyburn stations.

Trains will run on December 27, 28 and 29, with an additional day of diesel running using class 37 37250 between Leeming Bar and Agent Burton on December 24.

Tickets can be booked in advance by calling Wensleydale Railway on 01677 425805 or by booking through the railway website at www.wensleydale-railway.co.uk

Chris Williams, General Manager of Wensleydale Railway, said: “After an extremely difficult eighteen months and having had to cancel our services last Christmas, we are delighted to welcome a Black Five to the railway. Not only will the motor run throughout the sold-out Polar Express Train Ride events, it will also run for two days between Christmas and New Years. This is the first time a Black Five has visited us here in Wensleydale and we anticipate it will be an extremely popular event ”.

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