Edinburgh Christmas: ScotRail's Santa Express to set off from Edinburgh Waverley over the festive season
Hundreds of excited children are set to take the train trip of a lifetime on Saturday, as ScotRail’s Santa Express rolls out of Edinburgh Waverley.
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The festive-themed train is set to leave Waverley at 8.58am and will take those lucky enough to be onboard to Boat of Garten in the Highlands, where a herd of reindeers will be waiting to greet them on arrival at around 12.25pm.
And to add to the excitement, Santa will be roaming the carriages and handing out gifts, all of which have been donated by ScotRail and partner organisations. Children will also be able to take part in various activities, be wowed by a magician and receive treats during the ride.
It’s the first of five Santa Express trains to leave Waverley, with the other four due to set off on December 11 and December 18 - one in the morning and one in the afternoon each day. These trains will travel around the Fife Circle line.
Tickets for the journeys sold out in matter of hours, with £33,000 raised for the Railway Children charity, with which ScotRail is partnering to bring the Santa Express.
The charity fights for vulnerable children who live alone and at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation.
David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: “We thought the Santa Express would be popular but never dreamt tickets would sell out so quickly.
“ScotRail customers are known for their generosity, but this has exceeded all of our expectations. And we’d like to thank all the ScotRail staff who have volunteered their time to make these trips happen.
“The Railway Children charity is a great cause, and we are proud to be playing our part in assisting them to help vulnerable children all over the world.”
Terina Keene, chief executive of the Railway Children, said: “We can’t thank ScotRail enough for partnering with us on this amazing festive event and we are so happy the Santa Express trains sold out so quickly.
“The money raised will really help us to support vulnerable children and families around the world."