Passenger numbers on Talyllyn Railway increased by nearly four per cent during the 2016 as more than 45,000 people – the highest total for several years – travelled on the line.
The railway’s Santa Specials proved to be a huge success with bookings more than 60 per cent up on the previous year. Two extra trains had to be run to cope with the numbers who wished to travel and young and old were treated to a memorable festive experience as they took their journey to ‘Plas Nadolig’ to meet the man in red.
After Christmas, the railway’s traditional ‘Mince Pie’ specials also proved popular with passenger numbers well up on the previous year. In addition, the railway’s Wharf café hosted a record number of Christmas parties in the run-up to the festive season.
General manager, Tracey Parkinson, who started work on the railway last May, said:
‘These results are most encouraging coming as the result of some new marketing initiatives which we intend to develop in the coming years. The results for the Santa Specials were particularly encouraging, and we intend to run more of them in 2017.
“In fact, the timetable for 2017 includes a significant number of extra trains throughout the running season to cope with an anticipated increase in traffic.”
The next trains will run on February 18 when the railway is holding a special ‘Love It Local Week’, with discounted fares in operation throughout the half term, along with many other activities.
In addition, the railway will be running a ‘Give it a Go’ day on Saturday, February 25 to encourage those who might want to think about volunteering on the railway and to be part of its volunteer community.