We're very sorry that many of you were unable to get tickets.


Over the last week several of our social media posts got over 20,000 engagements and as soon as tickets went on sale they immediately sold out. Even our admin volunteers were unable to access the page to monitor the situation.

Sadly, due to our limited resources and the extreme demand shown for the event, we cannot offer a reserve list. 


We regret any disappointment caused. We're just a small team of unpaid volunteers trying to do our best with the limited resources that we have and thank you for your understanding.

Join Santa this Christmas for a steam-hauled journey 

through the Blaenavon World Heritage Site!


Board the train at our festively decorated Furnace Sidings station before making yourself comfortable in your own private compartment. Santa will visit each in turn during the journey, handing out a gift for each child. Our elves will also be passing through the train, providing children with a small helping of juice, whilst adults will be treated to a mince pie and sherry/non-alcoholic alternative.

  • A steam-hauled* return journey from Furnace Sidings via Blaenavon High Level and Whistle Inn Halt.

  • A visit from Santa whilst travelling aboard the train.

  • A gift for each child.

  • Complimentary juice for children and a mince pie and sherry/non-alcoholic alternative for adults.

*Although all trains are booked to be hauled by a steam locomotive, we reserve the right to substitute this with a diesel locomotive if circumstances dictate.


In 2021 our Steam Santa Special Trains will operate on the following dates:

Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th, Saturday 11th, Sunday 12, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th December.

Services will depart Furnace Sidings (directions) at:

11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm and 4:15 on each day.

Please be aware that it is the customer's responsibility to ensure that the correct date and time is selected at the time of booking. We have a very limited capacity, and to ensure that everyone has the fairest chance of obtaining tickets at their desired time and date, we cannot offer exchanges.


Prices begin at £50* for a compartment/accessible space, which includes up to four people within this initial amount. Additional passengers can be purchased at a rate of  £12.50* for adults/children aged over three or £5* for children aged 0 - 2. Please be aware that each compartment can accommodate a maximum of 8 seated people. An extra 4 0 - 2-year-olds may also travel if they can be safely accommodated on an adult's lap.

Each ticket is valid for ONE round trip from Furnace Sidings via Blaenavon High Level and Whistle Inn Halt at the booked departure date and time. 

*Stated prices exclude the booking fee paid to our ticketing provider, TicketSource.


Tickets will be available throughout our official ticketing provider TicketSource from 8 pm on Monday 8th November 2021. Visit to purchase yours.


Railway volunteers enjoy early access - please see our Volunteers Facebook group or contact us for further information.

All tickets must be purchased directly through our TicketSource account. Please be aware that due to limited volunteer resources, we regret that we cannot currently offer a phone booking service for this event.


  • Do not attend the railway if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or are required to self-isolate - please contact us to discuss your booking.

  • All visitors aged 11 and over must wear a face-covering inside our station buildings and whilst travelling aboard our trains - this is the law in Wales. 

  • Face-coverings may be removed when seated inside your private compartment, but please keep Santa and his elves safe by wearing them when they visit you.

  • At the time of writing (5th November 2021) COVID-19 passes are not required to attend the event. However, this may change following any further Welsh Government extension of their usage, and this would be entirely outside the control of our volunteers. 

Further information on our COVID-19 safety measures is available here


Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below first before contacting us. If you still require further information then use the contact form available. Our volunteers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please be aware that the availability of all goods and services advertised above is subject to the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time of travel. The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Company (1983) Limited also reserves the right to modify or cancel advertised services as circumstances dictate. 


Frequently asked questions

Can I alight at Blaenavon High Level / Whistle Inn Halt?

Yes. Passengers can alight at Blaenavon High Level upon request, with all trains serving Whistle Inn Halt. However, please be aware that Santa may not have visited your group by these stations.

Why are you charging £50 per compartment for four people?

Last year we charged £40 per compartment, inclusive of 4 people, with children recieving a small goody bag as a present. This year we will providing children with a gift from Santa, and the extra £2.50 per person* will go towards covering this.

*Based upon four passengers.

Why can't you run more trains if you expect your event to be popular?

We would love to. However, as a 100% volunteer-run organisation we are dependent upon the availability of those who give up their spare time to operate and maintain our railway, and we are sadly unable to do so at the present time.

I've tried booking online and it says 'members release' - what does this mean?

The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/Blaenavon's Heritage Railway is 100% volunteer-run with no paid staff. Everyone you see during your visit, together with the many others who work behind the scenes, gives up some of their spare time to keep us running for future generations to enjoy. As a thank you for the many thousands of unpaid hours that they collectively put in every year, we are providing them with the opportunity to have advance access to tickets. Volunteers - please check the Facebook group or contact us for further information. Public tickets go on sale at 8pm Monday 8th November 2021.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, well-behaved dogs travel free! However, to preserve our heritage rolling stock and for the comfort of fellow passengers they must be kept off the seats at all times.

Will we need COVID-19 passes to attend?

At the time of writing (5th November 2021) COVID-19 passes will not be required to attend the event. However, this may change following any further Welsh Government regulations in the coming weeks. In such an event our volunteers would have no control over the situation, and abuse will not be tolerated.

What does my ticket include?

Your ticket includes:

  • Up to four people, with additional tickets being available to purchase up to a maximum of 8 people per compartment.
  • A return journey from Furnace Sidings via Blaenavon High Level and Whistle Inn Halt lasting approximately 40 minutes.
  • A gift for every child.
  • A complimentary serving of apple/orange juice for children and a mince pie and sherry/non alcohol alternative for adults.

I booked to travel but can no longer visit - can I resell my tickets online?

No. All tickets are non-transferable and reselling is strictly prohibited. If you need to cancel your tickets then please contact our team explaining the circumstances.

Any tickets purchased through unauthorised resale will be invalid and result in travel being denied.

Do we need to wear face-coverings?


In line with current Welsh Government regulations, visitors aged 11 and over must wear a face-covering inside our station buildings and whilst travelling aboard our trains. They may be removed when seated inside your private compartment, but please keep Santa and his elves safe by wearing them when they visit you.

What happens if lockdown restrictions are introduced?

In the event that local/national restrictions prevent the event from going ahead then we will work with our ticketing provider TicketSource to refund customers appropriately.

Can I visit the Whistle Inn?

All trains will be serving Whistle Inn Halt, situated adjacent to the Whistle Inn public house. Passengers may alight here, but are informed that Santa may not have visited them by the time the train arrives at the station. The public house is a short drive away from Furnace Sidings along the B4248 towards Brynmawr. The Whistle Inn Public House and Campsite is an independent business outside the control of the Pontypool and Blaeanvon Railway/Blaenavon's Heritage Railway. The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Company (1983) Limited can take no responsibility for the provision of services at this location. Intending patrons should check opening times and availability directly with the pub.

Are Heritage Rail Association passes valid?

Yes - please contact us to get your bespoke discount.

Are there wheelchair accessible facilties aboard the train?

Each train features one accessible space with seating located next to the Guard's compartment for the use of wheelchair users. Our volunteers will help passengers board and alight via ramps.

What facilities do you have?

The following facilities are available at Furnace Sidings station. Refreshments: Light refreshments will be available from the Fireman's Shovel Tearoom (card payments only). Toilets: Our main toilets (including accessible facilities) are located at the northern end of platform one at Furnace Sidings station. Additional portable toilets will be situated around the site. Please be aware that there are NO toilets aboard our trains. Gifts: The Eric's Emporium giftshop will be open selling a wide range of gifts and souvenirs to commemorate your visit, together with children’s toys, Thomas The Tank Engine and friends, books, and an extensive range of model railway supplies!

Can we eat and drink aboard the train?

Yes - just please be considerable of your fellow passengers and our volunteers by taking rubbish with you when leaving the train.

Why are you releasing tickets late in the evening?

Like everybody else at our railway, our Commercial and online teams are staffed by unpaid volunteers who do all railway activity in their spare time. The ticket release date and time has been chosen in light of their availability to ensure that they can support and act quickly, should something go wrong during the release.