from Virgin Trains

Polar Express, a Traindeer and Christmas Leave trains this Christmas

Published: 7th December 2014

Support the Royal Jubilee Steam Locomotive this Christmas

Polar Express runs in Merseyside with The Simpsons!

The public are being offered a chance to ride on Merseyrail’s Staff Christmas Train called the ‘Polar Express’ on December 14 and 21. Merseyrail’s annual Christmas train will for the first time, be open to the general public in a competition.

The 2014 Polar trains will be decorated in a space, Disney and the Simpsons themed service with passengers travelling on a rocket, dancing with princesses, partying with Mickey Mouse, visiting Springfield with the Simpsons, feeding animals on the farm and finally, meeting Santa at the North Pole. Other passengers will be face painters, balloon modellers, a magician, music and dancing.

Two adults and three children will be invited to travel together on the train and the trains run on Sundays 14 and 21 December with the ride lasting about 100 minutes.

So, how do you get to join the merry Merseyrail trains? Follow @Merseyrail on Twitter and tweet us the name of your favourite Christmas film, including the hashtag #merseyrailpolar in the tweet. The winner will be notified through Twitter direct message.

These trains started in 2008 as a goodwill gesture for Merseyrail staff, to thank them for their hard work over the previous year. It raises funds for good causes with all passengers making a donation to Merseyrail’s charity of the year, this year is Clatterbridge, a local cancer charity.

They said: Rachel Donohoe, fundraising manager at Clatterbridge, said: ‘We were blown away by Merseyrails’s Polar Express! It was an absolutely fantastic day that has made lifetime memories for the children (and lots of the adults!) on board. ‘We’d like to thank everyone at Merseyrail who has worked so hard to put this fantastic event together. We’re delighted that it has raised so much for our charity and would also like to thank Barclays for their generosity too.’

Andy Heath, deputy managing director, added: ‘This is great way of getting everyone in the Christmas spirit, thanking our people for all their efforts over the last year and raising money for very worthy causes. It’s always a fantastic occasion, enjoyed by children and adults alike.’

Polar Express timetable

Sunday 14 December; 10am, 2pm and 430pm Aintree to Southport and back

Sunday 21st December; 10am Aintree to Southport and back and 308pm Rock Ferry to West Kirby and back

Ride the Traindeer

Virgin Trains, never one to miss an opportunity, has turned out a Traindeer this Festive Season. The design was submitted by Sisters, Ella, 11 and Ruby Prior 9, from Congleton in Cheshire as a Christmas card competition.

The Pendolino train was given the festive makeover, complete with a red nose, and unveiled at Manchester Piccadilly with the young designers in attendance with their parents without being told they had won the competition and that the design had been translated into a real-life real Traindeer. Their design was submitted to a Christmas card competition run by staff at Manchester Piccadilly and eventually went on to win the competition beating hundreds of entries from eleven stations including Euston.

They said:

Judges, Joanne Guinnane Team Organiser at Manchester Piccadilly Station and Booking Officer, Jan Morgan said: “We loved the concept of Ella and Ruby’s design as it was fun and caught our eye as a stand out picture, with the Virgin Traindeer logo and the antlers with the red nose! It really was very different from the rest and the fact that they had cleverly called it a “traindeer” was a lovely touch.

Ella Prior said: “I’m so pleased that our design won and has actually been turned into a real life Traindeer! When we first handed in our entry, we saw lots of other designs and didn’t expect to win at all – so this is brilliant. I’ve never won anything before, so I can’t believe our design has been made into an actual train. It doesn’t feel real. Out of ten, it was a million!”

Ruby Prior, said: “Wow I can’t believe it! I thought it was a dream. To find out our train will be taking people all over the country? And it’s ours. Wow”

The Traindeer will run until January 9th and is expected to convey around 65,000 passengers over the Christmas period. The winning Christmas cards are on sale in stations: Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke on Trent, Stafford, Crewe, Liverpool and Runcorn, Lancaster, Manchester Piccadilly train from £2 and all proceeds will be donated to the Riff Raff charity, which aims to raise funds for local charitable causes and organisations in the Urmston area.

The Mid Hants Railway ‘WW11 Christmas leave’ specials

The Mid Hants Railway which runs for 10 miles between Alton and Alresford is hosting a Christmas Leave event on the theme of: ‘We'll meet again, I do know where, I do know when, I know we'll meet again after Christmas Day’ event on December 26 & 27.

The railway promises a memorable experience when they recreate the atmosphere of a WWII Christmas with civilian and military re-enactors - and witness the relief and joy of returning home from war.

There will be song, dance, steam & seasonal merriment and could well be a great day out after Christmas for families looking for something different to do. Fares are Adult £17 Child (2-16yrs) £9 and Child under 2 years FREE or a Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) £43.

The railway is the highest in the south of England so there may even be some snow to celebrate!

Fancy a date with a Princess Royal stocking filler?

The LMS Pacific that started the June 2012 Royal Pageant, No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth is just about ready for service again after a major overhaul at Tyseley Locomotive Works. To help paying for the work, the owning group, the Locomotive 6201 Princess Elizabeth Society Limited has issued a limited edition 2015 calendar. It comes in a CD case and each month printed on card with a picture of the engine and makes a great Christmas stocking filler.

It costs £6.50 including P&P and is available from 39 Newton Street, Millom, Cumbria LA18 4DR with cheques payable to 6201 PELS.

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