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East Midlands Trains ran its first ever Santa Train in Norwich this year to celebrate Christmas.
Following the success of previous Santa Train services in Nottingham and elsewhere on the East Midlands Trains network, Norwich train driver Anthony Stevens thought it would be a good idea to replicate the concept a little closer to home.
Around 50 children from Harford Manor School, which specialises in educating children with autism and other learning difficulties, boarded the festive Santa Train on Sunday 11 December with teachers and parents. It was decorated with tinsel and carols were played throughout the train.
Father Christmas handed out gifts to the children as the train pulled in to Ely station. The gifts were kindly donated by local businesses and East Midlands Trains provided on board festive food and drink for the school children and their parents. Volunteer elves and reindeers were also on hand to assist Father Christmas to ensure that everything ran smoothly.
Lindsey Wright, a parent and Secretary of the Friends of Harford Manor School Association, said: "We are all so grateful to the staff of East Midlands Trains for arranging this fantastic start to the Christmas festivities. We would like to take this opportunity of saying a huge thank you to them; firstly for thinking of us, and secondly for all the hard work and thought that went into organising such an event. We had all had a great time!”
Anthony Stevens, who drives East Midlands Trains services in Norwich, led the organisation of the Santa Train service, and said: “It was a very special event which was popular with the children attending. We were glad to be able to spread the festive cheer in Norwich!”