The popularity of a steam train charted to take passengers from Carlisle to York has led to an extra, historic carriage being added to meet demand.
Taking the world-famous Settle-Carlisle line along the way, the Santa Special, running on November 18, almost sold out in days. Starting from Carlisle Citadel railway station, the steam-powered train will pick up passengers at Appleby, Settle and Skipton and arrive in York for the first weekend of the Christmas Markets.
With standard class selling out and only limited seats left in premier dining and first class, organisers of the charter Settle Carlisle Railway Development Company have arranged for an extra carriage to be added to the steam engine.
Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company Deputy Chairman, John Moorhouse said: “We were amazed at the response from the public in Cumbria and North Yorkshire, and the speed at which the tickets sold – and quickly had a waiting list.
“As far as we aware this is only the second time a steam train has been charted to takepassengers from Carlisle to York, giving communities along the Settle-Carlisle line the opportunity to enjoy the journey by steam to one of the country’s historic railway cities, York.
“To give as many people the opportunity to join us and to meet the demand, we have arranged for an extra coach to provide an extra 60 seats.
“We have requested the steam locomotive Class 7P Scots Guardsman for the journey, and we will take in the Eden Valley, the Yorkshire three peaks – Pen-Y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside – and the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct.
“This will be the first day of the famous York Christmas markets, and to keep the Christmas spirit going, we will have Santa joining us on the return journey to Carlisle.”
The additional, limited tickets are now available from the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company website, Santa Special page at www.settle-carlisle.co.uk.