HEAVY snow across the Midlands and Wales during the early hours of December 10 resulted in a number of heritage lines making the difficult choice to cancel or postpone that day’s ‘Santa Special’ services.
Such decisions are not taken lightly; the festive specials are some of, if not the, most financially lucrative events for preserved railways across the country.
The state of the roads and accessibility for passengers is a major factor in the process, but the railways must also take into account whether the all-important volunteers can make it in to operate the services, and their subsequent safety and well-being.
In Wales it was the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway that took the first hit, the overnight snow falling on top of an already substantial covering from a few days previously.
The Cambrian Heritage Railways’ made a pre-emptive decision to cancel its operations at Llynclys the night before, while the Llangollen Railway’s ‘Santa’ trains also fell victim to the snow following a judgement call that morning.
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