Christmas in full swing as Polar Express delights thousands in sell-out run

Seb Whittingham, four, from Wicklewood, is happy with his Polar Express ticket which the conductor h

Seb Whittingham, four, from Wicklewood, is happy with his Polar Express ticket which the conductor has punched with a Christmas tree. With him are his mum and dad, Alice and Ben. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A bumper festive season on the Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR) is in full swing with the return of the Polar Express a sell-out hit. 

The railway's showpiece event returned earlier this month for the first time in two years after the coronavirus pandemic forced plans to be scrapped for 2020.

Marie and Neil Goodall with their children, Lily, 11, and Finley, eight, from Ipswich, ready to go o

Marie and Neil Goodall with their children, Lily, 11, and Finley, eight, from Ipswich, ready to go on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, with the hero boy, played by Matt Otoo-Anakwa

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, with the hero boy, played by Matt Otoo-Anakwa, at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But now, thousands of families have enjoyed a magical Christmas experience already this November, with around 30,000 people expected on board throughout the six-week run.

The experience, based on the 2004 film, offers passengers the rare opportunity to travel from Dereham to the North Pole, complete with live performances on board.

Sisters, from left, Ava, 10, and Freya Andrews, 12, and Mya Moyse, eight, from Potter Heigham, ready

Sisters, from left, Ava, 10, and Freya Andrews, 12, and Mya Moyse, eight, from Potter Heigham, ready to go on board the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. Pictur

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Tickets for all shows have sold out once again, with this year's event the first using ex-Greater Anglia coaches, offering visitors a more comfortable experience.

The return of the Polar Express comes hot on the heels of the Flying Scotsman's historic stint in Norfolk.

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. Pictur

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The hero boy, played by Matt Otoo-Anakwa, at the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham

The hero boy, played by Matt Otoo-Anakwa, at the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, with two of the chefs, Annie Gibbons, left, a

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, with two of the chefs, Annie Gibbons, left, and Katherine Vince, at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

An eerie Tom Cove plays the Hobo in the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. Picture

An eerie Tom Cove plays the Hobo in the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, with all the chefs at the Mid-Norfolk Railway

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, with all the chefs at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant 2021

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, front, with the other conductors at the Mid-N

Conductor on the Polar Express, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, front, with the other conductors at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The audience enjoy the show before embarking on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dere

The audience enjoy the show before embarking on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The audience enjoy the show before embarking on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dere

The audience enjoy the show before embarking on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The audience enjoy the show before embarking on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dere

The audience enjoy the show before embarking on the Polar Express at the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Conductor Paul Andrew Goldsmith, chats to Ben Whittingham and his son Seb, four, from Wicklewood, on

Conductor Paul Andrew Goldsmith, chats to Ben Whittingham and his son Seb, four, from Wicklewood, on the Polar Express. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

The chefs in a musical number on the Polar Express. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The chefs in a musical number on the Polar Express. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Four-year-old peers round her seat on the Polar Express to watch the dancing. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Four-year-old peers round her seat on the Polar Express to watch the dancing. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

The Conductor, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, and the chefs in a musical number on the Polar Express. Pictur

The Conductor, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, and the chefs in a musical number on the Polar Express. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The Conductor, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, and the chefs in a musical number on the Polar Express. Pictur

The Conductor, Paul Andrew Goldsmith, and the chefs in a musical number on the Polar Express. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Ivana and Julian Youngs with their children, Luke, six, and Ellie, 11, on the Polar Express.

Ivana and Julian Youngs with their children, Luke, six, and Ellie, 11, on the Polar Express. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

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