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Steam Trains return to Central Auckland for Christmas

It’s been over 3 years since Mainline Steam left its former Parnell depot and steam locomotives have been seen in the Central City, but all that is going to change this Christmas.

Local businesswomen, and sisters, Emma Oliver and Sarah Ferguson are bringing their North Pole Express event to Auckland following a sell-out 2017 season in the Wellington Region in 2017.

Inspired by rail events overseas their team has been working for months to create an authentic Christmas experience in both Auckland and Wellington in 2018.

Departing from The Strand Station in Parnell, the Auckland experience will see passengers board a steam train for over an hour and a half of Christmas cheer, and of course Santa will be making an appearance with a small gift for each passenger; a silver bell from his sleigh.

Passengers can expect beautifully decorated vintage carriages, carols, stories, iced cocoa and cookies and they say a few ‘surprises’ along the way.

Interest and the reaction on social media has been intense since confirmation of the Auckland events was released in July.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring the event to Auckland, as you can imagine scheduling a Steam Train journey into the busy Auckland Suburban train network is a challenging proposition. We’re very grateful to the teams at KiwiRail, TransDev and Mainline Steam who have worked to make this happen.” Oliver says.

“Mainline Steam are excited to be working with the On Track Events team and being part of the North Pole Express in Auckland in December. The sight and sound of a steam locomotive has not been seen in Auckland central for a number of years and we look forward to sharing the experience with the public” General Manager for Mainline Steam Heritage Trust, Grant Bradley says.

Oliver and Ferguson say that Christmas has always been a special time for their family and they credit their mother for their love of all things festive.

“Mum has always made Christmas magical, this event allows us to share a bit of that Christmas magic with others.” says Ferguson. “There is nothing like watching the faces of our passengers, hearing the singing and feeling the true joy of the Holiday Season.”

The North Pole Express is limited to just 2 weekends each in both Auckland and Wellington in 2018.

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