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FAQs

  • Tickets and Prices

     

    How can I buy tickets?

    All tickets are sold online. You cannot order tickets via phone or in person. We accept all major credit and debit cards as payment and we use Stripe as our payment processor.  

    How much do the tickets cost?

    Our tickets are priced depending on date and time as per our ticketing page

    What is the classification for tickets?

    Adults are 18 and over on the day of the event.

    Children are 2 years old to 17 years old on the day of the event.

    Babies under 2 years can travel for a small charge of £3 but must be held on an adult’s lap at all times when on the train. You will need to book an “adult with baby” ticket. Each baby will receive a silver bell from Santa. Proof of age may be asked for on the day. You are welcome to purchase a baby under 2 their own seat if you prefer.

    Are tickets sent to me in the post?

    Yes, we aim to post tickets no later than 2 weeks before the event.

    I have lost my tickets.

    If you have lost your tickets these will not be resent. Therefore, on the day of the event, you must print and show your order confirmation. If you can’t find the order confirmation in your inbox, please check your spam folder, if you still don’t have it, please contact us.

    Can I purchase a Mug/Bell separately to my order?

    Sorry, we cannot sell the Mugs, Bags or Bells separately. Bells are provided to all passengers. Mugs are provided to all Premium passengers. Subject to availability, a different design of mug may be available in the Gift Shop at the venue exit.

     

    Are tickets transferable?

    There is a £10 fee for any changes to the order (Including but not limited to Name, Address, Date, Time etc)

    If you sell your tickets the £10 admin charge needs to be paid by you to change the name and address.

    There will be NO changes to any tickets after 30th September.

     

  • Covid-19 Statement

    Updated 24th September 2020
    Next review date: October 2020

    Following the latest guidance change by the Government, we are working closely with our team and external advisors to understand the impact on our event. We will carefully explore all possible options to deliver a safe and magical experience for our guests.

    All bookings must now be made up of 6 people or less. This includes babies on laps. Bookings with more than 6 people who are from a single household or in a support bubble are exempt. 

    The Government define a bubble as “a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size”. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household  If you meet this definition, please confirm this via the form attached to the email.

    We have contacted all guests effected by these changes via email with your options. Our elves are working hard to respond to all enquiries but it may take several days before you receive confirmation.

    We appreciate your patience in these uncertain times.

    —————–

    In line with other public transport, current guidance is that masks should be worn on trains by over guests over the age of 11 who are not eating and drinking. We will continuously review the guidance and make a statement in October.

    Currently, we are not releasing 100% of tickets. This allows us to allocate seats and ensure that different parties are not sharing tables. Linked orders may share tables.

    During the event, we will be following the most up to date Government guidelines that relate to us. As circumstances are changing regularly, no final decisions have been made at this time.

    In the unfortunate event the train is unable to operate because of government instructions, you will be notified as soon as possible and your trip will be rescheduled for as soon as we are able to run. We reserve the right to alter the experience times to allow us to work with any mandatory or advised guidelines. This maybe up-to 1 hour either way to allow us to manage social distancing or cleaning requirements.

    Should the event not being able to be run at all, the rescheduled date not being suitable, or government restrictions imposed, a refund will be offered or a transfer to next year at 2020 pricing plus a 10% off voucher for our shop. In these circumstances refunds may take up to 90 days to process and booking fees and insurance will not be refunded.

    We will be operating within government restrictions. We will not refund if you chose not to travel due to personal choice. Booking fees and insurance not refundable in any case.

    You can purchase Ticket Protection for your tickets covering:

    • Confirmed infection resulting in the Ticket Holder(s) inability to attend the Event if the Event has not been Cancelled
    • Death of you or a Dependant from the virus
    • The inability of the Ticket Holder(s) to attend an Event due to a government-mandated travel ban in your home region/country being implemented after you purchased the ticket(s) preventing the Ticket Holder(s) attending the Venue.

    Full details of the Ticket Protection coverage can be found here: https://securemybooking.com/make-a-claim/uk/

    Ticket Protection can only be purchased when making a booking. It cannot be added retrospectively.

  • Seating Arrangements – Standard and Premium

    Our seats are arranged in 4s around a table, with a few tables of 2. If you do not book in multiples of 4, you may need to share your table with another group. Parties of 4 or less will be on the same table. Bookings of more than 4 will be sat on several tables as near as possible to each other. This may be next to, opposite, in front or behind each other. Priority will given to those who booked earliest.

    Our Standard seats and Premium seats are in separate carriages. You can make separate orders for Standard and Premium tickets, but will not be sat together. We cannot link orders together in different classes of travel.

  • Is this event accessible to those with disabilities?

    Is the railway suitable for guests with disabilities?

    Whilst we are a heritage railway, we aim to try and accommodate those with disabilities as best as we can. Do please be aware there are some areas where the surface is uneven.  

    Are there disabled toilets available?

    Yes, we have toilets available for our disabled guests. Should you wish to use the facilities please ask a member of staff who will be happy to guide you to them.

    Can wheelchair users board the train whilst in their wheelchair?

    Unfortunately due to the design of our heritage coaches, we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs on board. If the wheelchair user is able to climb a step, and walk a short distance we can assist in boarding. Wheelchairs will be looked after by our platform staff until you return.

    Is there any parking for guests with disabilities?

    Disabled parking is available.

  • Can I link my bookings so we can sit together?

    Our elves can link bookings together so you can sit near each other. This can be next to, opposite, in front or behind each other. We do our best to seat linked orders as close as we can. You can link an order as part of the booking process or contact our Customer Service Elves with both order numbers and they can manually link the orders for you. Our Standard seats and Premium seats are in separate carriages. We cannot link orders together in different classes of travel.

  • Can Standard and Premium ticket holders sit together?

    Our Standard seats and Premium seats are in separate carriages. You can make separate orders for Standard and Premium tickets, but will not be sat together. We cannot link orders together in different classes of travel.

  • How long does the experience last?

    We recommend allowing 2 – 2.5 hours for the whole experience. You are on the train for around an hour and can visit our shop afterwards. Please do not arrive at the station more than 30 minutes before your booked time.

  • Cookie and Hot Chocolate Allergy Information

    Our delicious hot chocolate contains milk. We are also able to supply an alternative made from coconut milk. It is also gluten free.

    Our cookies contain a number of potential allergens including gluten, milk, soya and eggs. They don’t contain nuts or sesame but nuts and sesame are used in other products made in the same bakery. We will offer an alternative free from many allergens.

    Please indicate any allergies on your booking. We do our best to provide alternatives free from many allergens, but we cannot guarantee we can accommodate all possible allergies. You are welcome to bring an alternative drink and cookie with you for members of your party who have allergies.

  • Is the train pulled by a steam engine?

    Yes, we schedule a steam engine to pull THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Seems only right doesn’t it? The only time we won’t is due to circumstances beyond our control, where we reserve the right to use a substitute engine as required to ensure the event continues.

  • Does the train move or is it stationary?

    Yes, the train does move. You will be on-board for approximately 1 hour as you travel to and from the North Pole. There may need to be movements backwards and forwards due to caribou or frozen lakes.

  • How To Get Here

    The event takes place in Buckfastleigh Station at South Devon Railway. The postcode for the station is TQ11 0DZ.

    Remember, it’s December!

    As the event takes place in December please do prepare for wintry road conditions. Remember this is England, weather can vary dramatically, however this event will run no matter the weather conditions even in rain and snow.  

    PNP Events and South Devon Railway are not liable for any road closures or delays. No refunds are given if we run the train as advertised but you miss it due to weather conditions or any other reason beyond our control.

  • Do you offer any discounts to carers?

    If you are in receipt of the higher/enhanced rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit, we offer a 50% discount on the carer’s ticket. Please contact our Customer Service elves with your order number and proof of entitlement. Our elves will then refund you 50% of 1 ticket.

  • Are pushchairs allowed on board?

    Due to the limited space on our heritage carriages, pushchairs and car seats are not allowed on board. Please leave them on the platform where our staff will look after them until you return.

  • Can I purchase the Premium mug on its own?

    The Premium mug is only available with the purchase of a Premium ticket. We are unable to sell the mugs separately due to the event license conditions. Every passenger with a Premium ticket will receive a mug, except babies under 2 who are travelling on a lap as part of an adult with baby ticket.

  • How to prepare for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

     

    What should I wear for THE POLAR EXPRESS™?

    We encourage our guests, young and old to wear pyjamas just as in the book with a dressing gown for good measure also. Children love it and if you can persuade our older guests, Mums, Dads, Granny and Grandpa to also join in, the atmosphere in the train comes alive for a truly magical experience!

    For the safety of our guests we ask that they wear sturdy, closed toed shoes and not slippers, open toed shoes, flip-flops etc. The British winter weather is not kind to fluffy slippers.

    What should I bring?

    Don’t forget your A4 paper ticket with details of your carriage and seat numbers! You will also need your golden tickets on board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ so don’t forget these! Tickets are sent out to arrive no later than two weeks before your booked train. If you haven’t received yours 2 weeks prior to your departure date, please contact our elves.

    This is a magical experience that you will want to cherish forever, so we recommend bringing a camera. Be sure to share your best memories with us on our Facebook page too so we can share the magic!  

    As you will be waiting outside when boarding and departing THE POLAR EXPRESS™ we ask that you dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

  • Can I purchase items from the event shop after my visit?

    Our THE POLAR EXPRESS™ shop is available after the train ride and is for ticket holders only. During the event, we only have the facilitates to sell items in the on site shop due to the quickly changing stock levels. We do not keep stock at our North Pole HQ and unfortunately are unable to sell event exclusive items online. Please make sure you purchase items during your visit to avoid any disappointment.

    Our online shop is run separately and not available during the event running season.

  • I have a pending payment and no order confirmation.

    If you didn’t reach the “Thanks for your Order” page and didn’t receive an Order Confirmation email, we don’t have your order and the payment hasn’t gone through. If you created an account with us, your order may show as “Order Failed”. You may, however, see a pending transaction on your bank statement for the value of the order.

    Here’s why.

    We have a security setting in our checkout that asks our payment provider Stripe to decline payments where the CVC check fails, or where the post code check fails. If your bank approves a payment where the check has failed, Stripe declines the payment on our end. The approval will fall off your card statement in a few hours to a few days. The time this takes varies from bank to bank.

    In summary, your bank has said the transaction is OK, our payment system said, no it’s not (based upon a set of rules in place to protect us, their customer), so the payment was not taken. You are seeing your banks approval, not a payment. Hence why is it ‘pending’. The pending charge will disappear shortly if it hasn’t already.

    The tickets you tried to purchase are not saved for you. You will need to make a new order and a new payment to secure your tickets.

  • Refund & Cancellation Policy

    What is the cancellation / refund policy?

    Unfortunately due to the popularity of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event we are unable to offer any cancellations, refunds, or reschedules therefore please be sure you can attend on the dates/times selected when you book. The train can depart in rain and snow. In the unfortunate event the train is unable to operate, you will be notified as soon as possible and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule.

    As the event takes place in winter, please plan appropriately for the road conditions. Remember this is England and the weather can vary dramatically; however this event is not affected by the weather and will run no matter the weather conditions even in rain and snow. South Devon Railway is not liable for any road closures or delays.

    You are only liable for a refund should We fail to to run the event. There will be NO refunds for guests arriving late due to but not limited to, poor weather, vehicle breakdowns, public transport, acts of God and anything covered in the Events Outside Our Control.

    There is a £10 fee for any changes to the order (including but not limited to Name, Address, Date, Time etc).

    If you sell your tickets the £10 admin charge needs to be paid by you to change the name and address.

    There will be NO changes to any tickets after 30th September.

    If you decide to cancel your order for any reason the following charges apply. We will take extenuating circumstances into account.

    Before 31st August – £10 charge

    Between 1st September – 30th September – 25% charge

    There will be NO changes to any tickets after 30th September.

    BOOKING FEES AND TICKET INSURANCE ARE NON-REFUNDABLE IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

    What if the weather is bad and travel will be difficult?

    No refunds will be given if you can’t get to us and the train runs as advertised.  

    The South Devon Railway and PNP Events are not responsible for the winter weather or your transport arrangements to us or any road closures or delays or cancellations on your journey to us. Please leave plenty of time to travel safely to us.  

  • Terms and Conditions

    By purchasing tickets you agree to the following terms and conditions.

    1. Definitions

    When the following phrases with capital letters are used in these Conditions, this is what they will mean:

    Event Outside Our Control: is defined in clause 6.

    Filming of Children Consent Form: the form which We may ask you to sign to consent to the filming of children during the provision of the Experience for the purpose of marketing and publicity;

    Order: your order for the Experience;

    Experience: carriage and entertainment on board the South Devon Railway’s THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride pursuant to and, as set out in, your Order;

    Conditions: the conditions set out in this document; and

    We/Our/Us/The company: PNP Events who operate the event, at and on behalf of South Devon Railway. PNP Events registered offices are at PNP Events, J12 Halesfield 19, Telford

    When We use the words “writing” or “written” in these Conditions, this will include e-mail unless We say otherwise.

    2. Our contract with you

    When you submit your order and payment to Us, it does not mean We have accepted your order for the experience. Our acceptance of your order will become binding between you and Us when We issue you with an email acceptance of your order at which point a contract will come into existence between you and Us.

    We will provide you with a “Processing Order” email until We ship your order. We will then provide you with a “Completed Order” email indicating your Tickets have been dispatched to you. See below for shipping estimates.

    Your Tickets permit you passage on board the experience ONLY on the date and time stated on your order.

    3. Changes to order or conditions

    We may revise these terms and conditions from time to time in the following circumstances:

    • changes in how we accept payment from you; and
    • changes in relevant laws and regulatory requirements

    4. The Experience / THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Event

    We will supply the experience to you on the date and time set out on your order.

    You should arrive for your experience at least 30 minutes prior to the time given on your order. We will not be liable if you miss the experience as a result of your late arrival, and will not be obliged to hold up the experience to wait for you, or provide a seat for you on the experience at another date and time.

    Whilst We attempt to run the event as close to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride experience as possible we may need, at short notice, to make operational changes to enable the event to continue to run – this may include substituting the Steam Engine for a Diesel Locomotive

    We will make every effort to complete the experience at the time set out on your order, however there may be delays due to an ‘Event Outside Our Control’.

    We may have to suspend the Experience if We have to deal with technical or mechanical problems, or to make improvements to the Experience. We will make a reasonable effort to contact you to let you know in advance where this occurs, unless the problem is urgent or an emergency. You do not have to pay for the Experience while it is suspended under this clause.

    We will not be obliged to allow any child less than 18 years of age on board the Experience unless that child is accompanied by a responsible person aged 18 or over. Unaccompanied children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to board. You may be asked to present valid proof of age prior to boarding the Experience.

    Children over the age of 17 must purchase an adult ticket. If you are unable to produce valid proof of age when asked to do so, you may be refused travel on board the Experience.

    5. Pricing and payment

    The price of the Experience will be set out on our website or in literature at the time We confirm your Order. Our prices may change at any time, but price changes will not affect Orders that We have confirmed with you.

    6. Events Outside Our Control

    We will not be liable or responsible for any failure to perform, or delay in performance of, any of Our obligations under these Conditions that is caused by an Event outside Our control.

    An Event outside Our control means any act or event beyond Our reasonable control, including without limitation strikes, lock-outs or other industrial action by third parties, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack, war (whether declared or not) or threat or preparation for war, fire, explosion, storm, flood, earthquake, subsidence, epidemic or other natural disaster, or failure of public or private telecommunications networks.

    If an Event outside Our control takes place that affects the performance of these are our obligations:

    We will contact you as soon as reasonably possible to notify you; and attempt to reschedule the event on a best endeavours basis. In the case of an event outside of our control we do not guarantee the event will run, and we will not make any refunds. We reserve the right to offer you alternative dates.

    In the unfortunate event the train is unable to operate because of government instructions, you will be notified as soon as possible and your trip will be rescheduled for as soon as we are able to run. We reserve the right to alter the experience times to allow us to work with any mandatory or advised guidelines. This maybe up-to 1 hour either way to allow us to manage social distancing or cleaning requirements. Should the event not being able to be run at all, or the rescheduled date not being suitable, a refund will be offered or a credit against the event for the following year with a gift voucher to the value of 10% of your order for our Polar Express retail shop. Refunds can only be made to the original purchaser of the tickets.

    In these circumstances refunds may take up to 90 days to process and booking fees and insurance will not be refunded. If no government restrictions are in place, our event will operate. We will not refund if you chose not to travel due to personal choice. Booking fees and insurance not refundable in any case.

    7. Tickets & Seating

    Tickets will be posted to you no later than 2 weeks before your chosen date. You must bring your tickets and order confirmation on the day of the event. Failure to do so may result in you missing out on the experience.

    There are no spare seats on any of our carriages across any of the days we operate. If you know you will be late please call the duty manager to see if any tickets have become available however there is no guarantee of this.

    Our carriages have seating arranged in 4’s around a table, if you do not book your tickets in multiples of 4 due to high demand for seats it is highly likely you will be sharing the fun of your Polar Express trip with another family. Parties of over 4 will be seated as near to each other as possible, priority given to earliest booking.

    8. Your rights to Refunds, Cancellations and order amendments

    Unfortunately due to the popularity of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event we are unable to offer any cancellations, refunds, or reschedules therefore please be sure you can attend on the dates/times selected when you book. The train can depart in rain and snow. In the unfortunate event the train is unable to operate, you will be notified as soon as possible and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule.

    As the event takes place in winter please plan appropriately for the road conditions, remember this is England and the weather can vary dramatically, however this event is not affected by the weather and will run no matter the weather conditions even in rain and snow. PNP Events and South Devon Railway is not liable for any road closures or delays.

    You are only liable for a refund should We fail to to run the event. There will be NO refunds for guests arriving late due to but not limited to, poor weather, vehicle breakdowns, public transport, acts of god and anything covered in the Events Outside Our Control. Booking fees and insurance not refundable in any case.

    There is a £10 fee for any changes to the order (Including but not limited to Name, Address, Date, Time etc)

    If you sell your tickets the £10 admin charge needs to be paid by you to change the name and address.

    There will be NO changes to any tickets after 30th September.

    If you decide to cancel your order for any reason the following charges apply. We will take extenuating circumstances into account.

    Before 31st August – £10 charge

    Between 1st September – 30th September – 25% charge

    There will be NO changes to any tickets after 30th September.

    Tickets cannot be resold, raffled or used for a competition without approval from Us. Any unapproved transactions may result in tickets being cancelled.

    9. Our rights to Refunds & Cancellations

    We may cancel the contract for the Experience at any time as a result of an Event Outside Our Control, We will either, at Our sole discretion, provide an alternative date for the Experience or, if this is not possible, refund these paid amounts to you.

    We may cancel the contract for the Experience at any time by providing you with at least 14 calendar days’ notice in writing. If you have made any payment in advance for the Experience that has not been provided to you, We will either, at Our sole discretion, provide an alternative date for the Experience or, if this is not possible, refund these paid amounts to you.

    We may cancel the contract for the Experience at any time with immediate effect by giving you written notice, if you break the contract in any material way and you do not correct or fix the situation within 10 days of Us asking you to do so in writing. If you break the contract, no refund will be payable and We will not be obliged to provide you with an alternative date for the Experience.

    10. How we may use your personal information

    We will use the personal information you provide to Us to:

    • provide the Experience
    • process your payment for the Experience
    • By entering into this agreement you agree to us using cookies and storing cookies.

    11. Passenger Behaviour

    We wish to make the Experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for all of Our guests. Therefore, We ask that you (and any children under your control):

    • behave in a reasonable and lawful manner at all times during the Experience;
    • comply with any reasonable request from a member of Our staff
    • be considerate when using mobile phones.

    You agree that you shall not

    • be abusive or threatening to any of Our staff or any other person
    • conduct yourself in a way which may endanger yourself, the carriage or any person or property on board
    • obstruct any member of Our staff in the performance of their duties or fail to comply with their reasonable instructions
    • behave in a manner which causes discomfort, inconvenience, damage or injury to other persons
    • obstruct or allow any of your belongings to obstruct any aisle or emergency exit
    • play any music players, musical instruments or electronic devices, that are audible and distracting or annoying to any person, or which interfere with, or render less audible, any public address system or other equipment
    • take on board the carriage, any alcoholic drinks or drugs (other than medicines) for the purpose of consuming during the Experience
    • bring a dog or any other animal on board the Experience. However, we do allow trained assistance dogs on board the Experience
    • board the carriage whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • smoke (including electronic cigarettes) on board the carriage and anywhere on South Devon Railway property

    If you fail to comply with the above, We shall be entitled to remove you from the carriage and the event, refuse you further use of the Experience, cancel your ticket without refund, and take any further steps as We may deem necessary in the circumstances. If We consider it necessary we will contact the Police or other relevant security service. We reserve the right to refuse carriage on board the Experience, either on a one-off or permanent basis, to anyone We consider a nuisance or danger to Our passengers or Our staff.

    We will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that other passengers behave appropriately during the Experience however, We will not be liable for any act or omission of any other passenger during the Experience. You are responsible and liable for any passenger under the age of 18 who accompanies you.

    12. Luggage

    We reserve the right to refuse items to be taken on board the experience and into South Devon Railway property.

    Larger items including Wheelchairs cannot be carried onto the train or carriages. They must be left at the station.

    All property and belongings are the responsibility of the owner and We accept NO responsibility for loss or damage to personal belongings on board or left at the station.

    We shall be entitled to inspect all luggage and property, for the purpose of the security and safety of our staff and our customers.

    If we find any luggage we are entitled to open/examine it to ensure it is safe to store. Anything we deem hazardous, dangerous or perishable or otherwise unsuitable for storage shall be disposed of within 48 hours of our receiving or finding of the items.

    If you have lost any items please make us aware as soon as possible. We will take reasonable care of the items should we locate them.

    If we find any of your luggage, We will store it, at your risk, at such location as We deem appropriate.

    If you have not collected your items within 1 month of our receiving or finding it we may dispose of it as we wish.

    13. Media and Marketing

    During the event we may take photos or video of you to be used for marketing purposes in print, online, broadcasting and radio. Should you wish not to take part please see a member of staff or contact us. You may request for us to remove your image at anytime and we will comply where is possible.

    14. Other Important Conditions

    This contract is between you and Us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms.

    Each of the paragraphs of these Conditions operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

    If We fail to insist that you perform any of your obligations under these Conditions, or if We do not enforce Our rights against you, or if We delay in doing so, that will not mean that We have waived Our rights against you and will not mean that you do not have to comply with those obligations. If We do waive a default by you, We will only do so in writing, and that will not mean that We will automatically waive any later default by you.

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