It’s the first of five Christmas specials in the lead up to the big day in a festive partnership between ScotRail, the Railway Children charity and Father Christmas.
On 11 and 18 December, another two Santa Express specials using Class 43 HST's will leave Waverley each day and travel around the Fife Circle line, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon.
Tickets sold out in hours, raising £33,000 for the Railway Children charity which fights for vulnerable children who live alone and at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation.
The Santa Express trains will be decked out in a festive theme and Father Christmas will be walking up and down the train in person to hand out gifts that have been donated by ScotRail staff and partner organisations to keep costs down.
Lucky children, plus their mums, dads and guardians will receive treats and activities on board to keep them enter-trained, including a magician and a special visit from Santa.
And, on the Saturday special, a small herd of Santa’s reindeer will be waiting to greet everyone on arrival at 12:24 in Boat of Garten. Passengers can get off, stretch their legs and meet Rudolph and his pals while enjoying some seasonal snacks.
Then, it’s back onto the Santa Express for the return 130 mile journey at 13:23, arriving in the capital at 16:46.
David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:
“We thought the Santa Express would be popular but never dreamt tickets would sell out so quickly.
“ScotRail customers are known for their generosity, but this has exceeded all of our expectations. And we’d like to thank all the ScotRail staff who have volunteered their time to make these trips happen.
“The Railway Children charity is a great cause, and we are proud to be playing our part in assisting them to help vulnerable children all over the world.”
Terina Keene, Railway Children CEO, said:
“We can’t thank ScotRail enough for partnering with us on this amazing festive event and we are so happy the Santa Express trains sold out so quickly.
“The money raised will really help us to support vulnerable children and families around the world.”
The train services are as follows:
Saturday 4th December - HST Edinburgh to Boat of Garten:
Depart Edinburgh 08:58.
Arrive Boat of Garten 12:24.
Depart Boat of Garten 13:23.
Arrive Edinburgh 16:46.
Saturdays 11th and 18th December – HST Edinburgh and return around the Fife Circle:
First trip departs Edinburgh 10:15 and arrives back at 12:00.
Second trip departs Edinburgh 13:16 and arrives back at 15:04.
For more information click here
Scotrail HST fleet click here
Updates below - From the first day of operation