Santa Specials

Treat the whole family to a magical trip through a winter wonderland as you kick start your Christmas on one of our Santa Specials. There’s a stocking full of familyfriendly surprises, magical characters and more.

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you take a steam train trip with a host of happy elves and of course, the man himself, Father Christmas! It’s an amazing treat for girls and boys who have been good this year and for ‘grown-ups’ who want to enjoy the nostalgia of steam.

Start your experience with a walk through the beautifully decorated Bury Bolton Street Station, enchantingly lit with countless fairy lights and decked with over 200 Christmas trees. Step out of this gorgeous grotto onto the platform and you’ll see a scene right off of a Christmas card as a steam train waits for you to climb aboard.

Settle into your comfy carriage and continue your adventure up the East Lancs Railway. Santa’s happy helpers keep you and your little ones entertained as your train makes its way to Rawtenstall and back. Before the trip ends, St Nick himself will pay you a special visit and make sure every little one receives a gift (well behaved parents also get a mince pie and a festive tipple).

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy this spellbinding Christmas experience – book your tickets now.

Start your journey at Heywood: Board the Santa Shuttle Scenic Diesel Railcar from Heywood to reach Bury Bolton Street Station, the starting point of the Steam-hauled Santa Specials. Tickets for the Santa Shuttle will be available shortly.


2021 Santa Specials run on November 27-28, plus December 4, 5, 11, 12 and 18-24.

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£20 - £28


£20 - £28

Adult + Under 3

£32 - £39
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Where does the Santa Special start?

All Santa Special Steam Trains start and end at Bury Bolton Street Station. We recommend starting your experience at Heywood station where there is plenty of parking. Simply book on the Santa Diesel Shuttle which operates from Heywood to Bury.

How long is the Santa Special journey?

The round trip experience from Bury Bolton Street Station lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Can I get off along the way?

Passengers must remain on board their Santa Special train at all times.

Do you have toilets on board the train?

Toilet facilities are available both on the train as well as on the platform at Bury Bolton Street Station.

Can I change my gift on the day?

Unfortunately gifts cannot be changed on the day.

My child is under 3 but we won't need a gift, which ticket do I book?

If you are bringing a child under 3 and do not need a gift, you will need to book an adult ticket only.

Where is the best place to park my car?

Bolton Street Station and the surrounding area has very limited parking. You can find further information on parking here.

An alternative would be to book the Santa Diesel Shuttle service and start your experience from Heywood where there is a free car park. Santa Diesel Shuttles are scheduled to arrive to ensure you have plenty of time to board your Santa Special Steam Train. Santa Diesel Shuttle tickets will be on sale shortly.

What time should I arrive for my experience?

We recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes before your Santa Special Steam Train departure.

Will there be any food or drink available?

Bury Bolton Street has a well stocked Buffet on Platform 3 that will be serving drinks, snacks and warm pies as well as lots of goodies for the little ones. Refreshments are also available at the Whistlestop Cafe in Heywood (if you are travelling on the Santa Diesel Shuttle between Heywood and Bury) and the Trackside Bar in Bury (Platform 2).

Is there an alternative to Sherry?

You can exchange your Festive Tipple for an alternative soft drink on the day, just ask your train steward.

Is the experience accessible for people with limited mobility?

Every Santa Special Steam Train has a specially adapted carriage for people who require wheel chair assistance. To make a booking, call 0333 320 2830 and we will do the rest for you.

I need the assistance of a carer, do they need to pay?

The ELR offers one free carer ticket per party. Please contact our booking line on 0333 320 2830.

Is seating socially distanced?

No, seating is set to normal capacity.

When purchasing an 'Adult and Under 3' ticket - how many seats are included?

One seat is included, with the child under 3 seated on the lap of the adult.

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East Lancashire Railway Santa Specials