Santa’s special impact sees 30% rise in passengers

WDLR 778 prepares to leave Page's Park station with the 11.20 Santa Special to Leedon.
WDLR 778 prepares to leave Page's Park station with the 11.20 Santa Special to Leedon.
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Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway volunteers are celebrating a 30% increase in Santa Special passengers in 2014.

The December special trains are an important source of revenue for the railway, accounting for nearly a quarter of all passengers carried.

Commenting on the figures, chairman Terry Bendall said: “We are delighted that the hard work of our 100% volunteer team has been rewarded by this increase in passengers.

“The railway has faced some big challenges in recent years as a result of the rapid growth around the town which have threatened to overwhelm us.

“However, it is very apparent that the public are behind us, what we offer to the community in return and what we add to the town.

“While these challenges will undoubtedly continue, 2015 promises to be an exciting year for the railway as we focus our resources on building a new station at Pages Park.

“My thanks to everyone who rode on our trains in 2014, to all our many friends for their support and to all our volunteers for their amazing commitment.”

The railway provides a unique train ride experience in the UK , combining a journey through the outskirts of the Leighton passing parks, back gardens and schools, before heading into unspoilt open country with views towards the Chiltern Hills .

The railway also ensures that the importance of the sand industry to the town’s prosperity is not forgotten and, with its unique collection of Great War exhibits, is increasingly in the spotlight worldwide.