With under 90 days ‘til Christmas, the East Lancashire Railway have given the heave-ho to plastic – having replaced their standard plastic bags in favour of more sustainable reusable drawstring bags.
Saving use of over 41,000 single use plastic bags, the heritage railway are doing their bit for the circular economy.
Bosses at the charity have taken a swipe at waste with the move – and can’t wait to share the new keepsake ELR branded bags which will include a chocolate lolly, a bespoke activity pack as well as juice and biscuits.
As the big day draws near what better way to get into the spirit of the season than with tickets for the East Lancashire Railway’s famous “Santa Specials”.
Running for over thirty years, thousands-upon-thousands of people from across the North West and beyond have celebrated the festive season on one of the ELR’s “Santa Specials” trips – becoming a family tradition for many.
Last year, the ELR saw a record breaking year welcoming over 41,000 people on its “Santa Special” trains – with the event selling out at the start of November and demand so high the heritage railway had to start a waiting list for families keen to join the festive fun. 2019 is set to prove just as popular with new additions to add some extra special touches!
Passengers will be immersed in Christmas magic from the moment they step into the beautifully decorated Bury Bolton Street Station, before boarding a steam train for an hour and a half long ride through Lancashire’s very own winter wonderland, the stunning Irwell Valley.
Say hello to costumed characters, listen to a traditional brass band, join in with carol singing and be mesmerised by on-board magicians as Father Christmas himself makes his way through the train, handing presents and goodies to children and adults.
Grown-ups will be treated to a mince pie and festive tipple and all visitors will have the opportunity to have a go at the Great Christmas Treasure Hunt in the Bury Transport Museum.
Mike Kelly, Chairman of the East Lancashire Railway, said: “We’re excited to share the new reusable bags with guests having taken note of the shift towards sustainable products.
“The drawstring bags will actually prevent a huge amount of plastic from being binned at home – and guests can use the bags again and again. The new bags are beautifully branded, reusable and make a special souvenir for our younger visitors.
“Our Santa Specials have a reputation for being one of the best Christmas experiences in, not only the North West, but the country as a whole. We are delighted that people think so highly of our volunteer run event and pride ourselves on the experience we offer. But not one to rest on our laurels we have added some extra touches this year to make the experience even more memorable.
“While “Santa Specials” are the highlight of our calendar, they are also vital to the preservation of the line. The East Lancashire Railway is a registered charity that is run predominantly by over 800 volunteers – relying on the help of our supporters, public donations and events like this to keep it going. Thanks to the support of our “Santa Specials” visitors, we can protect and preserve the line for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Only a 30 minute tram journey from Manchester, the event has become a Christmas tradition for many families in the North West and beyond, providing an alternative to the traditional Santa’s grotto.
It’s advised that you book your place on the Santa Specials early to avoid disappointment!
The Santa Specials will run this year on 30 November and then in December on the 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
Tickets are from £18.00 per person
For more information see East Lancashire Railway’s website www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk