Hundreds of excited children and families were delighted to meet Santa on Saturday 9 December. Platforms were busy at St Albans Abbey through to Watford Junction stations as guests boarded the specially decorated trains to the special grotto at St Stephen Parish Centre.
The event was held by the award winning Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership which works to promote and support the rail line from St Albans to Watford.
Entertainment was provided by the North London Society of Model Engineers with their mini steam railway, live music from Chasing Deer, balloon modelling from Random Mike, Face painting by Blue Orange Images with fantastic refreshments from Mount Pleasant Lane School and locally brewed ales from Farr Brew. All coming together to create a fun and festive community engagement event.
Each child received a present from Santa and there was a special Christmas quiz with the main prize being first class family train tickets for use on the London Northwestern Railway network won by Elodie Blomfield. Attendees were also encouraged to share their photos on the partnership’s social media page and one photo being selected to win a family train ticket as well.
Edna Woname, partnership development officer said ‘The aim was for our community to come and meet us and learn more about the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership and how its making a difference on the Abbey Line, as well as to raise the awareness of the line itself which runs between Watford and St Albans Abbey. I am particularly grateful for the support we received from members of the Partnership, volunteers, Mount Pleasant Lane School PTA and London NorthWestern Railway. This was a great event with hundreds of people enjoying the day. I hope our community enjoyed this event and encouraged to use the local train service as well as supporting us by volunteering for events like this and other projects.”
Vicky Cropper, head of stakeholder and community engagement at London Northwestern Railway said: “The festive train is always a highlight for the Abbey line and is a shining example of how our Community Rail Partnerships can make a positive impact and bring people together. I’d like to thank everyone who took part and made the day extra special, it was lots of fun for all who attended and we look forward to welcoming more passengers on the line in the future.”