Very regrettably, this year’s planned Polar Express™ trains for the Christmas season have had to be cancelled as a result of the continuing challenges of COVID-19 restrictions and the increasing number of cases being reported not just in the south west, but all over the country.
The decision was made by the Polar Express ™ organisers, PNP Events, who are today (Thursday 22nd October) informing all their customers of the news all over the country, from as far away as South Wales, London and East Anglia, who had booked to travel on our trains this year.
Their reluctant decision is wholly supported by the SDR Board and was taken only after a very great deal of consideration both by PNP and by the SDR.
Commenting about the news today, SDR chairman Jon Morton said: “It gives me no pleasure to have to make you all of aware of this sad news today that our Polar Express™ trains won’t be running this year after all, in what has been a very difficult, challenging and depressing season for us so far. The planned Polar Express™ services were providing us some hope of running trains again this year, but they too have now been dashed on the rocks of this dreadful pandemic.”
Organisers PNP Events have written to all customers offering transfers to the 2021 Polar Express™ on the South Devon Railway or refunds.
Their spokesman said: “Our main concern this year has always been the safety of our guests and staff during this pandemic. We have worked tirelessly to provide a COVID-19 secure event for your families to enjoy, which we were confident we had achieved. Now, however, as a result of consultation with local authorities following the introduction of the new 3 tier system, it has become very clear that a large number of our guests will potentially be unable to travel due to households being unable to socialise together, or only being able to undertake essential travel. There would also be severe challenges associated with a potential “Circuit Breaker” lockdown during our critical setup phase, or during the event itself.
“PNP Events is a family led company and we pride ourselves on being able to create lasting memories for families at Christmas. We understand how disappointing this will be for you and your families, but we hope you will want to look forward to a better 2021 and will join us for your magical journey next year.”