Frequently Asked Questions - Santa Specials
Please don't be too disappointed that the Snowman competition does not include actual real Snowmen, and remember that snow itself cannot be guaranteed, we have no control over the weather!
Please note that tables at seats are not guaranteed, some coaches (all of which were built in the 1960s) do not have them.
Eridge Station is a heritage station in its original condition, and hence access is not on the level. Our platforms are reached via 5 steps from the car park or via the footbridge from Southern's platform. Please email the General Manager here to discuss your requirements and click here to learn more about the accessibility of the railway.
Please note that some of our trains have tables, some do not, a table is not guaranteed as part of your booking. Bookings are for a seat on the train and not a table.
All changes to bookings incur a £10 admin fee.
What is my booking confirmation?
Your booking confirmation is either an E-Ticket or a confirmation email pending your tickets being sent out by our ticket agent.
When will I receive my tickets?
All tickets are sent out by our ticket agent, they process these weekly so you should receive yours soon, if you’ve any queries regarding your tickets please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do Santa Specials start from?
All Santa Special trains start and finish at Eridge Station, East Sussex, TN3 9LE.
Can I travel to Eridge by Public Transport?
Yes, indeed we would recommend this. You may arrive by train or bus. Eridge station is on the Southern mainline between London Bridge, East Croydon, Oxted and Uckfield.
Bus routes 28, 29, 228 & 229 stop on the A26 about 100 yards from Eridge station.
Is there a carpark at Eridge?
Yes, the station has a large pay and display car park. Please note spaces may be limited on weekdays due to commuters who regularly use the station. The current daily charge is £2.00 at weekends and £2.60 on weekdays. This may be subject to change and please be aware that the car park is not operated by the Spa Valley Railway.
How long should I allow for my visit?
Please allow at least 2 hours for your visit. You will be on the train for 40-45 minutes while it travels to Tunbridge Wells West, you will then have 40 minutes at the station itself followed by a 20-minute return journey back to Eridge. At Eridge there is face painting in the Ladies Waiting Room on Platforms 2 and is free of charge and included as part of your visit, so don't forget to pay them a visit before or after your train journey!
What happens on the train?
Whilst on the train Santa and his Elves will pass through. Each child will receive a gift from Santa himself, there will then be another opportunity to see Santa at Tunbridge Wells West, this is the best place for photographs. The train will steadily travel towards Tunbridge Wells West allowing Santa enough time to visit each child on the train.
What happens at Tunbridge Wells West?
You will visit Santa once again if you wish in his sleigh in our engine shed, where there will also be a model railway,vintage penny machine games and our cinema showing Christmas films. Our shop, stocking a range of Christmas gifts, will be open for all to visit for some Christmas shopping. Outside the shed our buffet car 'Emily' will also be open serving hot & cold drinks and light refreshments and you can also visit the steam engines cab and meet the driver too!
What happens in the event of extreme weather?
All the while we are able to run a train we will not issue refunds. In the event of the train not being able to run we will offer an alternative date if we are able to do so. In the event of this not being possible a full refund will be given. The responsibility is yours to reach the Spa Valley Railway, Eridge Station, for the train you are booked on, and you will not be entitled to a refund if you miss your train. We will of course do our best to accommodate you on a later train that day if there is space available.
When should I arrive?
All visitors coming by road should arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to departure time to find a car parking space and make your way to the station platform. We recommend you arrive earlier to take part in the Face Painting we have on offer in our Waiting Room. Our trains will normally arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time. There may be a short delay whilst the train is quickly cleaned by our volunteers.
How far is it from the carpark to the station?
Eridge station car park is right next door to our platforms. However allow yourselves 5 minutes to walk from the far end of the car park if you have to reach our platform. Please note our platform at Eridge can only be accessed via 5 steps from the car park.
Can I bring a pushchair?
Yes of course, but please appreciate there is limited room on our trains so all push chairs should be folded securely when on board the train and stored in the Guard's van or other signposted push chair area.
Who will receive a present from Santa?
All children (age 2-10 years) and babies (age 0-2 years) will receive a gift from Santa Claus.
What will pull our train?
All services are scheduled to have a steam locomotive at one end and a heritage diesel locomotive at the other. The trains will normally be hauled by the steam locomotive from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West, and the diesel on the return, however in the event of steam locomotive being unavailable a heritage diesel locomotive may need to be substituted.