FAQs - Elf Express 2021

If you can't find the answer to your question here, please contact the Museum

Can I book in person or over the phone?

All tickets need to be booked online.  Our museum is a small, publicly funded museum and heritage railway run by a modest team and dedicated volunteers. Sadly, we do not have the staffing resource to offer in venue sales.   

All tickets are available on a first come, first served. 


Which carriage should I book?

Bauble Carriage

This is a saloon carriage.  Your family group will be seated together with other families in this open plan carriage. We are not asking visitors to book specific seats so that we can comply and react to any changes to government guidance.   If you would prefer to have a private compartment for your group then there is a limited number of 6 and 8 person compartments available, subject to availability. Your booking should consist of both child and adult tickets.     

Evergreen Carriage

We have 3 private compartments available to book for your exclusive family use, seating up to 6 visitors in each compartment.  The entertainer will perform the story in the internal train corridor which runs along the end of each compartment.  In addition to your party of 6, 1 additional baby can travel and will also receive a gift from Santa; any additional babies need to be included within the party of 6. For example, if your party consists of 2 babies, there should be an absolute maximum of 7 people in your compartment. Your booking should consist of both child and adult tickets. 

Sparkle Carriage

We have 5 private compartments available to book for your exclusive family use, seating up to 8 visitors in each compartment. The entertainer will perform the story in the internal train corridor which runs along the end of each compartment.  In addition to your party of 8, 1 additional baby can travel and will also receive a gift from Santa; any additional babies need to be included within the party of 8. For example, if your party consists of 2 babies, there should be an absolute maximum of 9 people in your compartment. Your booking should consist of both child and adult tickets. 

What is included in the visit?

  • 15 minute live and interactive theatrical show 
  • Visit to exhibits in the Museum 
  • Train ride with entertainment lasting 30 minutes approx. 
  • Christmas craft activity 
  • Visit to Santa with a gift for each child (0-12 years) 

Can I turn up for a train ride on the day?

Due to the limited train capacities all tickets need to be booked online and in advance. 

These events sell quickly and early booking is recommended. 

We cannot guarantee that any tickets will be available to buy on the day. 

How long is the train journey?

The train journey will last approximately 30 minutes in total.  The length of the train ride is 2 miles out plus 2 miles return (4 miles). 

How long will my visit last?

Your visit will last approximately 90 minutes.

We ask that visitors arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the admission time and no later than 10 minutes after the admission time.  Sadly, if you arrive late, we may not be able to guarantee you entry to the event. 


I want my baby to receive a present. Do I need to buy a ticket?

Yes - we are offering a ticket which is for an adult with a baby aged 0-11 months. Baby will receive a gift, but is not allocated a seat so will need to sit on the knee of an accompanying adult. 

Are there toilet facilities?

At the Museum there are toilet facilities including disabled and baby change. 

There are no toilet facilities on the train, Museum platform or Percy Main platform (which is the turnaround point for the train to return to the Museum). 

 


Is there a car park on site?

Yes – we have free parking with 65 spaces. 

 


What facilities do you have for wheelchair users?

There are two parking bays marked out as accessible parking bays for blue badge holders.  These are all located close to the access path to the Museum. 

As a heritage railway, we are exempt from certain aspects of the Equality Act. We regret that we are unable to offer wheelchair access to our carriages as the door openings are restricted to 55cm.  Wheelchair users must be able to self-transfer onto the passenger carriages to ride on our heritage trains. For further help or information, please email us at info@stephensonrailwaymuseum.org.uk 

Although we make every attempt to make the venue as accessible as possible, aspects of the building and the nature of the exhibits on display sometimes make it difficult to make everything fully accessible. 

The locomotives and rolling stock are heritage items which in many cases have not been designed with accessibility in mind. It is often not possible to enhance physical access whilst retaining the historical integrity of the objects. 

There is a short gentle ramp leading to the main entrance from the car park. One set of automatic double doors lead into the entrance. 

The Museum is all on one level. It has a very simple layout with aisles between the rows of large exhibits. The floor is uneven in some areas, where rail tracks are embedded in the surface. However, walkway matting is provided at certain points to make it easier to cross the rails. 

Can I take a buggy/pushchair onto the train?

We would advise you to leave buggies/pushchairs in the car or at the Museum as the engines and carriages are heritage items which in many cases have not been designed with accessibility in mind. 

What adaptations are offered for people with an autistic spectrum condition?

The compartments in Coach A are 12 seater private compartments. We have 3 compartments available and can take details of your booking and make arrangements for you to be seated in Coach A on the day.  We need your party name, date and time of visit and numbers in your party.  You will still need to bring along your etickets as booked, but we will give your information to the welcome staff and the platform station supervisor who will accommodate you on your visit.  We can also make arrangements for you to board first. 

Does the price include complimentary refreshments?

Due to ongoing concerns about transmission of Coronavirus, we do not feel that it would be safe to offer complimentary refreshments in 2021.   

Drinks and snacks will be available to purchase from the Waggonway Tearoom.