Following all the usual manic preparations, Christmas 2013 arrived and proved to be our most successful yet. We worked extremely hard this year on improving the spread of passengers across the day so queuing was noticeably less than in previous years which only improved the experience for our guests. This year saw the debut of automatic announcements in the stations from Santa himself, something that really added to the festive atmosphere. As Annie is still being rebuilt, this year was the first time that steam and electric were in service together, with Sea Lion heading the train and Polar Bear at the other end….A unique site! One that’s unlikely to be repeated in future festive services, as remarks were heard that an electric locomotive is rather cold to drive all day in December compared to a steam loco!….So we look forward to Annie’s return!
For the first time we were assisted by volunteer Scouts in manning the car parking at Groudle Beach, they did a superb job in an area that isn’t always seen as vital to the railway operation, but with the success of the event in recent years has become one that is very much needed. They did a very professional job in controlling the traffic safely and we offer them our grateful thanks and hope to see them again next year.