Severn Valley Railway has said plans are in place for its festive services to go ahead in December despite the new national lockdown being introduced this week.
Following the government announcement about new national Covid-19 restrictions, the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) will close from Thursday (November 5) until December 2 at least.
The railway’s pubs, cafes and shops will also shut while customers who have tickets for this period will be offered the chance to rebook during December.
However, SVR has confirmed that tickets booked for its Christmas events from December 3 onwards are not affected and these will still go ahead if the lockdown isn’t extended.
It’s festive events include its Santa trains, which offer the chance for people to “celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with your family in a private compartment on a magical journey to Arley to see our all-new Christmas Show.”
The other festive offering, Steam in Lights, departs from Bridgnorth and offers ‘an illuminated adventure of magical creatures’.
Helen Smith, the SVR’s general manager, said: “Customers who have booked tickets during November, which includes the first weekend of our Santa and Steam in Light services, won’t be able to travel on their assigned dates.
“We are sorry about this, but in line with the government announcement we must close the railway for this period.
“I want to reassure all customers who are affected, that they will hear directly from us in the coming days and we’ll offer them an alternative booking in December or if we can’t accommodate them, a refund.
“Please don’t try and call us, because you may face a long queue to speak to someone. We promise we’ll contact you soon, on either the phone number or email address you provided when you booked.”
She added that the railway is still ‘busy making preparations’ for its festive season.
“Even though we must close the railway to the public during the coming weeks, we will still be busy making preparations for our Santa, Steam in Lights and other festive services, which will run from 3 December onwards,” she said.
“We know how much our visitors are looking forward to these and we want to make sure you can enjoy a truly magical experience with the Severn Valley Railway
“The carriages we’ll be using for these services have private compartments so each group has its own exclusive space to travel in.
“We’ve received hugely positive feedback from passengers about our Covid-secure arrangements and many comments about how safe people have felt travelling with us.”
The Severn Valley Railway reopened in August after four months of closure during the first lockdown earlier this year and was recently thrown a near-£1million lifeline to see it through the pandemic.
During the coming period of public closure, the railway will continue to operate maintenance vehicles in order to carry out essential work.