NEARLY all of the seats on the 30 Christmas 'Steam and Lights' trains announced earlier this month have been sold.

Organisers of the 'coronavirus safe' festive service, set for Swanage Railway in the build-up to, and after, Christmas, say the few remaining seats on the originally scheduled trains will now be sold through the reservations team only, to ensure social distancing is maintained.

However, due to the popularity of the event, organisers are now looking to see if they can add more dates.

Hopefully these will be announced around October 22, with tickets going on sale online shortly afterwards.

The attraction replaces the popular Santa Specials which are unable to operate due to the coronavirus restrictions.

The trains, which are adorned with brightly coloured lights, will steam through the Isle of Purbeck passing special lighting displays at stations that line that five-and-a-half-mile heritage line as it makes its way from Swanage to Corfe and Norden during the one-hour return trip.

The steam-heated carriages will be festively decorated which will see on-board music synchronised to line-side lighting displays passing the carriage windows.

Swanage Railway volunteer Commercial Director Steve Williams said: “This new Steam and Lights train service in the run-up to Christmas is a festive first for the Swanage Railway and we are very excited because it will be very special and out of this world – colourful, evocative and dramatic. We are looking forward to it tremendously.

“The need to keep our passengers and staff safe against the threat of Covid-19 – by following social distancing and the wearing of face coverings – means that we cannot run our traditional, and very popular, Santa Special trains where Father Christmas gives presents to children on the train and has his photograph taken.”