Steam train fans will be pleased to hear that two popular Christmas rides are all systems go.

Dartmouth Steam Railway's Train of Lights will be running again in December. Photo: Mark Lakeman PhotographyDartmouth Steam Railway's Train of Lights will be running again in December. Photo: Mark Lakeman Photography

South Devon Railway has confirmed the Polar Express rides will go ahead.

Based on the 2004 film, the trips to the North Pole give youngsters the chance to meet characters including the conductor, singing chefs, hobo and Father Christmas himself.

Families can enjoy cookies and hot chocolate on the train ride along the seven mile railway between Buckfastleigh and Totnes.

Santa will hand out gifts of silver sleigh bells during the ride.

At the journey’s end, there’s a chance for children to write a letter to Santa.

Although it’s trains are not running at the moment, the site, which is run by volunteers, is open and there are a number of steam and diesel locomotives, carriages and wagons on display, including the Lee Moor Tramway Peckett locomotive.

The gardens are open, there’s a children’s playground and garden railway. You can visit the workshop viewing gallery as well as the gift and model shop. The walking route is clearly marked and designed for social distancing, and we have completed thorough risk assessments in line with Covid-19 guidelines.

Dartmouth Steam Railway has also announced its Train of Lights will be running again in December.

Its services started last month but with Covid-secure measures in place, including screens in each set of seats, hand sanitiser, reduced capacity and allocated seating.

A spokesman said: “We hope you agree that the 2020 Train of Lights will be something positive to really look forward to and we in turn look forward to welcoming you and sharing the experience with you all once again.”

The journey starts from Queen’s Park station in Paignton where the vintage train, decorated with thousands of lights inside and out, heads to Churston station where the show starts.

The show continues to turnaround at Kingswear and with the opportunity to disembark and take photographs from the platform before heading back to Paignton.

Tickets for both trips are on sale now.