All aboard the Santa train
It wasn’t quite the Polar Express, but children aboard the popular Esplanade railway still got a glimpse of Santa.
Santa and Mrs Claus stopped by on Saturday and Sunday much to the glee of the attraction’s young passengers.
It was the second year that the husband and wife team had taken time out of their busy schedule to hand out toys and lollies to children riding past.
Esplanade Scenic Railway vice-president Grant Taylor said they invited Santa along as a way to thank the public for their support during the year.
This year about 67,000 passengers had travelled on the trains.
The railway is no stranger to hosting special guests, having Easter Bunny hop by over the Easter break, with ghouls and demons haunting the tracks during Halloween.
Yuliya Gultekin brought her 4-year-old daughter Dilara down for a Santa-train ride.
‘‘She thought it was really cool.’’
Gultekin said they visited the train almost once a week and said it was a great community asset.
Ann-Maree Thompson brought her children, Zachary, 1, and Jazzlyn, 4, over from Whanganui for the day, with the added bonus of seeing Santa.
‘‘They were surprised to see him. They each got a toy and a lolly. It has been really nice.’’
Santa and Mrs Claus put smiles on the faces of families riding the Esplanade railway over the weekend.