Bookings for a festive ride on the Santa Steam Special line along the Severn Valley Railway are on the rise - despite the huge damage to the track from the summer floods.
The company is currently operating a severely restricted 3.5 mile service between Kidderminster and Bewdley while water-logged track on the remaining 12.5 miles is repaired up to Bridgnorth.
But it has not stopped 7,000 eager passengers signing up for the Christmas specials running every Saturday and Sunday from December 1-23.
Severn Valley Railway marketing manager John Leach said: "This has exceeded all expectations. We will be running the Santa Steam Specials from Kidderminster to Bewdley to see Father Christmas in his grotto to hand out presents to children.
"Response has been fantastic considering the shortened journey, and we are grateful for the support of the public after what has been a difficult year for us.
"We hope to be back running the full service 16-mile service from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth early in 2008."
Some of the flood damage was repaired by maintenance teams, but in many places the damage was so heavy that external expertise and heavy plant and equipment was required.
The Severn Valley Railway management launched an appeal at the end of summer that has currently raised nearly £500,000.
Until the July floods the line was carrying approximately 250,000 passengers a year. There was damage at 45 separate locations.