Santa Special is an early Christmas treat

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Santa swapped his usual sleigh and reindeers to travel in style on the Marston Vale Line between Bletchley and Bedford last Saturday.

The train was transformed into a winter wonderland for the occasion, with Santa & his elves hard at work taking Christmas requests from all the children on board. A special Christmas gift was given to each child visiting the Grotto.

Santa was joined by a face painter and balloon modeller to keep everybody entertained during the journey through the heart of the picturesque Marston Vale.

A team of 15 volunteers were on hand during the event to assist passengers, distribute timetables & information concerning forthcoming events and sell refreshments. Volunteers travelled from as far afield as Telford in Shropshire and Brackley to help with the event.

An on-train survey generated a great deal of positive feedback. As a couple of happy passengers put it: “Santa Special as good as ever!” and “Nice to see, such a great effort to give a bit of fun!”

A collection taken on behalf of the Rotary Club Christmas Appeal resulted in such a heavy bucket that the elves struggled to carry it!

Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Officer, said, “The Santa Special was one of most successful Community Rail Partnership events to date with six busy trains, many local families taking the opportunity to travel on the Marston Vale Line for the first time and a truly festive atmosphere!”

For further information please contact Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership, c/o Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity on 01234 832645, e-mail