The mayor of St Albans became Father Christmas last week, as he boarded the 'Santa Express' to Watford with a number of festive helpers.

Councillor Geoff Harrison wore a Santa Claus costume and gave presents to young children aboard the Abbey Line train from St Albans Abbey to Watford Junction, on Sunday, December 11.


The mayor was supported by band 'Chasing Deer', magician Lewis Joss and balloon modeller 'Random Mike'.

The event marked the release of a new timetable for the London Northwestern Railway service, which will now see trains leaving at the same time each hour, during the day.

Herts Advertiser: The event marked the launch of a new timetable for the service.The event marked the launch of a new timetable for the service. (Image: Abbey Line Community Rail)

London Northwestern Railway's head of stakeholder and community, Vicky Cropper-Clarke said: "After some challenging years, it was wonderful to have the Santa Express back on the Abbey Line and the event generated so much laughter and happiness, it was a great start to the Christmas festivities.

"Events like the Santa Express don’t happen without the hard work of all the volunteers, so thank you for delivering such a fantastic day for everyone.

Herts Advertiser: Children on the train received presents from Father Christmas.Children on the train received presents from Father Christmas. (Image: Abbey Line Community Rail)

"On the same day we launched our new timetable and we really hope people will take advantage of the later evening services and explore things to do in both Watford and St Albans."

Partnership development officer Edna Woname added: "A big thank you to everyone who worked behind the scenes to get the additional services on the Abbey line.

"In addition, a ‘big thank you’ to our volunteers and stakeholders who continue to support the partnership each year’."

Herts Advertiser: The new Abbey Line timetable.The new Abbey Line timetable. (Image: Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership)

Hard copies of the new timetable will be available at Watford Junction station, selected supermarkets and other local attractions and amenities. 

The latest departure times from St Albans Abbey station can also be found on London Northwestern Railway website (