Polar Express at Telford Steam Railway sells out within 36 hours of going on sale
Tickets for this year's festive Polar Express at Telford Steam Railway sold out within 36 hours of going on sale.
Organisers at the heritage railway laid on 3,000 more seats for this year's extravaganza due to demand taking the number of tickets up to to record 23, 000. It is also introducing a monthly free ticket prize draw to help promote the festive initiative.
Steam railway director Phil Neal said: "We were truly astounded by the response.
"We had no idea that 17,000 people had signed up to be made aware of when tickets went on sale.
"We knew we were in for trouble at that point as we only had enough tickets for about 4,000 orders.
"We had already expanded the event by 15 per cent over last year, to a total of 23,000 tickets. It looks like we are going to have to get our heads together to work out how to expand even further.
"We had kept some tickets aside for promotional use, so we decided to give them away at four per month to people to come along and support us over our running season to the end of September."
The attraction based in Bridge Road, Horsehay, is open on Sundays and some bank holidays until the end of September. It then opens for the movie theme rides in the run up to Christmas Day.
Supporters are being urged to sign up online for the railway's Santa's Postbox for a chance to grab a set of four premium tickets on December 23 at 7.30pm.
Polar Express is a key event for the railway which is run by volunteers, as income from the Christmas rides will go towards funding the line's extension towards Ironbridge.
The idea is to run steam trains from Lawley Village through to the World Heritage Site at Coalbrookdale to Buildwas on the bank of the River Severn.
The line would cross the A4169 by bridge, which has already been acquired by the group from Network Rail.