Last weekend, the cancellation of The Polar Express Train Ride at Cholsey and Wallingford Railway was announced due to ongoing essential staff and cast shortages due to COVID-19.

People that has been affected hold tickets for the rides from December 20 to December 23.

In a Facebook post, both the Polar Express team and at Cholsey and Wallingford Railway volunteers said: “We can only apologise, and it has been a pleasure to have so many of you join us for our first year operating The Polar Express. It is with a heavy heart, and great sadness we could not take the remainder of you to the North Pole this year.

Read more: Wallingford is Christmas ready to receive thousands of visitors

“On behalf of everyone at Cholsey and Wallingford Railway and PNP Events, we are sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this has caused, our team are truly, heartbroken.”

On a follow up post on Monday, the team explained that those affected have been sent emails and texts regarding this cancellation.

Guests have been given options to choose how they wish to proceed, but this might take some as they are working with a reduced team due to COVID-19 and several thousand of people have been impacted by this.

This news came after the ride on Sunday, December 9, was cancelled due to sewage works.

In a Facebook post,the Cholsey and Wallingford railway volunteers said: “Urgent sewage works by Thames Water means we have no toilet facilities on site. This has been a difficult decision but unfortunately one completely out of our control with very little notice.”

Wallingford Town Mayor, Marcus Harris, said that this are sad news for the town as this has been ‘an spectacular event’.

“This town is so proud of Wallingford Railway, the volunteers and the committee that run it. We are very sad to see that it is not happening in this important week running up to Christmas, it has been a blow to the town.

“But we thank everybody involved for what has been a spectacular and I hope it becomes one that we can look forward to."

He continued: “I would like to assure to everybody that was planning to come for the Polar Express ride, the town is still open. Wallingford is beautiful, please come and enjoy the town, support the retailers, the shops, restaurant and attractions.”

The Cholsey and Wallingford Railway is a preserved heritage line run by volunteers which ran the Polar Express-themed service throughout December and was expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors.

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