Christmas was full steam ahead with Leighton Buzzard Railway enjoying record ticket sales

2021 festive bookings were the best on record

By Steve Sims
Monday, 10th January 2022, 9:28 am

The Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway has announced that ticket sales for its 2021 Christmas season were the best on record.

More than 6,200 passengers travelled on the railway during December, beating the record set in 2019. 107 trains were operated across 16 days, including Santa Specials and Mince Pie Trains. Special events during the month included the visit of a miniature steam engine, performances from the Leighton Buzzard Philharmonic Marching Band and special ‘after dark’ departures.

Due to a high level of demand and the reduced capacity available this time around, priority was given to the railway’s newsletter subscribers, and once booking went live more than 500 spaces were filled in the first 24 hours alone, representing 10% of the total capacity for December.

Passengers board a Santa Special... Photo: Mark Lewis

To ensure safety for all customers, the railway used both sets of its carriages, with one set being fully cleaned between departures while the other set makes the 25-minute round trip. Mince pies and punch were served prior to departure, and after the journey, customers were led to see Santa at intervals in a one-way system to enable social distancing, with all children aged 12 and under receiving a present.

The railways and its volunteers now take a well-earned break, with services resuming in March. Lots is planned for 2022 including the long-awaited extension to Munday’s Hill and the diverted route under the Eastern Link Road, as well as a wide array of special events. Full details will be published as soon as confirmed at http://www.buzzrail.uk

After Dark train... Photo: Mark Lewis
Leighton Buzzard Marching Band.. Photo: Mark Lewis