STATEMENT ON BLAENAVON’S HERITAGE RAILWAY’S 2020 STEAM SANTA SPECIAL SERVICE
Friday 13th November 2020
On behalf of all the volunteers at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway, we would like to thank everybody for the unprecedented interest shown in our 2020 Steam Santa Special services. In our 37 years of operation, we really have not experienced anything quite like it before!
Although we expected there to be slightly more interest than usual in our Steam Santa Special services, none of us thought it would be quite like this. At one point over 1000 of you were trying to book tickets at the same time. Trains sold out within a few minutes of going on sale, and to say that our volunteers were taken aback is an understatement to say the least.
Many of you have only just discovered us for the first time in recent days. We are a 100% volunteer-run charitable organisation that aims to keep the railway heritage of the South Wales Valleys alive for future generations. It has been a difficult year for so many people, and we were keen to use all the work that our volunteers put in into making our operation COVID-compliant to bring some joy to people this Christmas.
Over the last week, a small team of our marketing volunteers have been flat out trying to respond to the interest shown in the event. Despite working day and night (and that really is no exaggeration!), we apologise to anyone who we may have unintentionally overlooked. We would also like to sincerely apologise for the disappointment caused when the ticket release schedule was changed at very short notice on Wednesday evening. With over 500 people trying to book tickets at one time, we admit that we got caught up in the moment and ended up disappointing many. We express our heartfelt apologies to these people and assure them that we will learn from our errors.
All tickets for the event have now completely sold out. Whilst we would love to add even more trains, the safety and wellbeing of our passengers, volunteers and the wider community must come first. We hope that those who were unable to get tickets this time around will be able to join us in the future, hopefully when COVID is a thing of the past. If you have recently started following us on our social media channels, then please do stick around! We run many different events throughout the year, and there are also plenty of opportunities for you to become involved with our little railway.
We thank you once again for all your interest, support, patience and understanding.
Interim Secretary/Marketing and Commercial Officer
The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Company (1983) Ltd.