MANY heritage railways across the country were hit hard by the heavy snowfalls over the weekend of December 9/10, with several cancelling their money-spinning Santa services.
The Severn Valley Railway called off all of its services on Sunday, December 10, after the line experienced its heaviest snowfall in years.
Volunteers worked round the clock to clear the line, several sleeping overnight at stations so they could start clearance operations at daylight – but with snow still falling it was all in vain.
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Following a power failure at Arley, the railway’s management decided that it was unsafe to go ahead with the services.
Staff and volunteers were left to contact the thousands of passengers who had booked tickets, offering them alternative options, including the chance to meet Father Christmas at Kidderminster and enjoy a Freedom of the Line travel ticket for 2018.
The railway organised an extra day of its Santa Herald services on Monday, December 18.
SVR marketing and communications manager Clare Gibbard said: “Cancelling the Sunday’s Santa steam specials was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do – as we know how much families look forward to the experience, with many coming along year after year.”
Read more in Issue 237 of HR – on sale now!