Llangollen Railway reports successful festive period
Thousands of people visited a heritage railway over Christmas to enjoy a festive ride on a steam train.
Bosses at Llangollen Railway said the festive season was well supported by victors who came from all over the UK and abroad.
General manager, Liz McGuinness, said: "We are delighted with the success of this year's festive season of trains which were as popular as ever. The success is down to the involvement of our volunteers in manning the trains and stations and the operating staff in organising the events.
"We have had many messages of appreciation from those who travelled and enjoyed their visit, many for the first time having a seasonal holiday in the region.
"On Boxing Day the Llangollen Railway was the only standard gauge railway operating in North Wales as the mainline trains took an extended holiday. This was thanks to those volunteers who turned out to staff the trains and offer extended festive cheer to our visitors.
"The number of visitors attracted to Llangollen Railway over the festive period serves to demonstrate the economic benefit the railway produces for the region in what would otherwise be a closed season for attractions."
The Santa Special trains were a sell-out in the pre-Christmas period and strong support was given to the post-Christmas series of Mince Pie Specials which brought huge crowds to the town.
The railway operated 50 steam specials when families travelled to Lapland at Carrog to meet Father Christmas.
In a sell-out operation, 8,700 seats were sold.
Organisers and volunteers are now looking to the year ahead.
Liz added: "The railway will now undergo a period of line-side maintenance during January. Train services resume on February 17 in time for half-term.
"We have a full programme of events planned for 2020, starting with Mother's Day on March 22 and the ever-popular Days Out with Thomas from April 17 to 19.
"When all the building work is completed at Corwen, our new station will open later in the year. A full 10-mile train journey will then operate from a date to be announced which will involve some changes to the published timetable.
"The Llangollen Railway Trust looks forward to on-going support in 2020 to ensure the heritage railway continues to operate through the Dee Valley and maintains its position as the number one attraction in North-East Wales."