Train operator ScotRail has been forced to cancel Santa Express journeys planned for Fife due to renewed Covid concerns.
The four much-anticipated train trips were scheduled to depart from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station on both December 11 and 18.
Passengers would have joined Santa and his elves crossing the Forth Rail Bridge and on a trip around the Fife Circle Line before heading back to the capital, have now be cancelled.
The operator had already completed the first of its planned Santa Express trips, which took families to the picturesque Boat of Garten in the Highlands last weekend.
It comes as the rail operator reacts to the latest coronavirus guidance issued by the Scottish Government this week.
Trips sold out in hours
The decision will mean disappointment for hundreds of children with the festive train trips selling out just hours after they were put on sale.
It will also come as a huge blow for the firm who had announced that around £33,000 had been raised from the sale of tickets to benefit the Railway Children charity.
ℹ️ Sadly, due to updated guidance on coronavirus by the Scottish Govt, we have no option but to cancel all 4 Santa Express trips around the Fife Circle tomorrow & 18 December. We know how disappointing this will be, but the health & well-being of everyone is our priority. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/0Toq4vavHF
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) December 10, 2021
Anyone booked to have travelled on either the 10.15am or 1.16pm departures from Waverley on either December 11 or 18, will be contacted by ScotRail with details of how they can obtain a refund.
Refunds to be offered
ScotRail announced the cancellations on Friday afternoon via social media.
In a tweet it said: “Sadly, due to updated guidance on coronavirus by the Scottish Government, we have no option but to cancel all four Santa Express trips around the Fife Circle December 11 and 18.
“We know how disappointing this will be, but the health and wellbeing of everyone is our priority.
“Santa is just as upset as you will all be, but he’s arranging for you to get a full refund or showing how you can donate your fare in full to the Railway Children charity.
“An email will arrive with you later tonight explaining what you need to do.”