We are experiencing unprecedented interest in our 2020 Steam Santa Specials services. Our team of volunteers are working hard to respond to your enquiries in the shortest time possible. To help support this, we've put together the below list of answers to some of your most frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions
How much do tickets cost?
Prices start at £40 for a compartment of up to 4 people. Every additional person aged 3 or over will cost £10, whilst babies and toddlers younger than this will pay £5.
Please note that each compartment can accommodate a maximum of 8 people. Additional babies and toddlers are welcome, provided they can be accommodated safely on the lap of their parent/guardian.
Where do passengers board the train?
Furnace Sidings station. All passengers must join the train at our festively decorated Furnace Sidings station. For information on how to get there, please see or 'Finding Us' page at https://www.bhrailway.co.uk/finding-us
How long does the journey take?
35 - 40 minutes. The journey will last for approximately 35 - 40 minutes from departing Furance Sidings to your arrival back at the station.
Will we have to wear face coverings?
In line with Welsh Government regulations, all adults and children aged 11 or over must wear a suitable face-covering whilst inside our station buildings and carriage corridors. Please note that exemptions apply for those with disabilities. For more information on the Welsh Government's regulations visit https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public.
Will the tea-room and giftshop be open?
The Firemans Shovel Tea-room:
Are there toilets on the train?
No. We regret that there are no toilets on the train. However, there are toilet facilities (including disabled) at Furnace Sidings station. Please be aware that space is limited, and you may have to join a short queue before using them.
Can we bring our dog?
Assistance dogs only. Please note that with the exception of assistance dogs, dogs are not permitted on our Steam Santa Specials.
How many people can fit in a compartment?
8. Each compartment can accomodate a maximum of 8 persons. Please be aware that in line with Welsh Government guidance, no more than 4 people in each compartment should be aged 11 or over, and all should be from the same family/extended bubble.
What do the compartments look like?
The below image represents a typical compartment. Please note that they will be festively decorated during the Steam Santa Special services.
How much time will each group spend interacting with Santa?
2 - 3 minutes. Each group will spend approximately 2 - 3 minutes talking to Santa during the journey. This both ensures that every family/bubble gets the chance to do so, and helps reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
How many people can we bring?
We ask that all passengers follow Welsh Government guidance on extended household bubbles (link) and meeting other people (link) when planning your visit and who you go with.
What measures are you taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Can you accomodate wheelchair users?
Yes! Each train has an accessible space that can be booked for the use of wheelchair users. Please visit our Accessibility page for futher infromation.
When do bookings open?
We are hoping to release the first batch of tickets for Saturday 5th December on Wednesday 11th November 2020. Bookings for subsequent weekends will then follow over the coming days and weeks. The unprecedented interest in the event has thrown our plans off slightly, so keep checking back on our website and social media pages for further updates!
What's included in the goody bags?
Each goody bag will contain the following items:
Tub of bubbles
Mini note book
Bag of chocolate coins.
Children under 3:
A small cuddly toy
A tub of bubbles
Why are things different to previous years?
This year we've had to make some major changes to our usual Steam Santa Special services. These are intended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by reducing the amount of contact between people who are outside of our families/extended household bubbles.
What is your COVID cancellation policy?
Like so many of you, our volunteers have felt our wallets squeezed this year. We therefore want all passengers to book their trip with confidence, knowing that they will not be left out of pocket if they are unable to attend the railway through no fault of their own.
You will therefore receive a full refund on the price of your tickets if:
- You or any member of your group test positive for COVID-19 or develop any of the three main symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature; a new continuous cough; or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
- You or any member of your group are told to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.
- You live in an area that subsequently falls under heightened local or national lockdown restrictions.
- The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway is forced to close following the imposition of local or national lockdown restrictions.
- The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway is forced to close for any other reason that is or is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is vital that you DO NOT TRAVEL to the railway if you or any member of your group test positive for coronavirus, develop coronavirus symptoms, or are instructed to self-isolate following contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.
Working together, we can help prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe this Christmas.
How are tickets being sold?
This year we are selling all tickets on a per-compartment basis to ensure social distancing between families/extended households. The price reflects both the reduced capacity, changed nature of the experience, and the cost of running the event.
When worked out on a per-person basis (£10 a head for a compartment of four and above), 2020 is actually our most affordable Santa Special event in many years!
Where do we buy tickets from?
Tickets will be available from our TicketSource account at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/pbrailway
What are the dates and times?
We are currently planning to run trains on Saturday 5th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December. Trains are planned to depart Furnace Sidings at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:15 and 15:15.