RAILWAY enthusiasts are in for a treat as Gloucestershire's Steam Railway are set to break records as ticket sales soar for their Santa Specials.

The Christmas trips get under way from December 1 with more than 70 heritage trains set to take families on a journey through the North Pole to meet Father Christmas.

Chief Elf Colin Fewell who works at the railway spoke of this year's astounding success.

"We expect to carry over 10,000 people on our trains this December," he proclaimed.

"Many are already sold out but there are still some seats available – but it really is a case of book now while tickets last.

"By booking for the first weekend, December 1 and 2 – families are more likely to have space on the trains and a longer time chatting to Santa."

In fact, out of all steam and diesel trains more than half the seats are already taken, while some are already fully booked.

As well as this, around 65 children supported by charities Winston's Wish, Acorns Children's Hospice and Riding for the Disabled will take off for the North pole from Cheltenham Racecourse.

They will then meet Santa on one of the special steam trains.

"I’m overwhelmed by how popular our Santa Specials are, we simply can’t run any more trains and if we could I’m sure we would fill them too," added Colin.

"We expect to get through around 11,000 hot mince pies en route and with Santa walking down the train and giving the children presents there is a really special atmosphere."

This year will see more than 45 steam trains running up until Christmas Eve.

For tickets see gwsr.com