Train operator LNER gave a giant teddy bear the first class treatment to surprise a Leuchars toddler.
Evelyn Barker, 3, wanted a cuddly bear for Christmas but her relatives in Leeds, Emma Barker and James Hamer, were unable to deliver it in person because of the latest travel restrictions.
After they contacted LNER, the company agreed the plush 5ft tall passenger could travel in style by itself, with train staff making sure it was safely delivered to Evelyn’s parents Major Tim Barker and Dr Emily Barker, and Evelyn’s 10-week-old little sister Thea, at Leuchars railway station.
“We received a message from auntie Emma and uncle James in Leeds telling us to get to Leuchars Station to meet the train,” said Tim, 33.
“We couldn’t believe it when we saw the bear emerge from the first class carriage with the help of the onboard crew.”
The bear joined the 7.35am Aberdeen-bound service at York on Tuesday and completed its 181-mile journey in under four hours to arrive in Leuchars at 11.28am.
Emily, 30, added: “We are so impressed and amazed LNER made this happen for us. All Evelyn wanted for Christmas was a bear and we didn’t think it would happen until the team at LNER offered to help.
“We can’t wait to see Evelyn’s reaction on Christmas Day.”
David Horne, managing director of LNER, said: “We are thrilled we’ve been able to help make Christmas truly very special for Evelyn this year when her family, like so many others, were unable to travel to be together.
“In what has been a challenging time for all of us, I’m proud our teams were able to help sprinkle some Christmas magic and will hopefully make many people smile.”