THIRTY-six Santa Special steam trains ran over the Swanage Railway up to Christmas, organisers said.

The popular services put on for families up until Christmas Eve ran a combined distance of 430 miles through the Purbeck countryside.

Trains were not affected by the flooding which hit Purbeck the weekend before Christmas and blocked the main road from Wareham to Swanage.

Volunteers resumed their daily train service between Norden and Swanage on Boxing Day and will continue through the holidays until January 6.

Proceeds from the Santa Special trains go towards the extension and development of the railway, which has been rebuilt from nothing since 1976 and last year carried more than 200,000 passengers.

Swanage Railway chairman Peter Sills, said: “Yet again, the atmosphere on our Santa Special steam trains has been magical.

“I would like to thank our volunteers and staff who work so hard to make them so successful in the run-up to Christmas.”