Thousands board the 'Santa Express' on the West Somerset Railway

One of the most popular services of the year has been running along the historic West Somerset Railway, with thousands of people enjoying the 'Santa Express'.

The trip takes families along the railway line, departing either from Bishops Lydeard near Taunton or Minehead.

Along the way, Father Christmas himself travels down the train to meet everyone and children go away with a present.

Over the years it has become a hugely popular attraction for the heritage railway, with thousands of people booking tickets.

General manager Kerry Noble said: "We have about 14,000 people travelling with us over December and, obviously, the children love it and it’s just nice to see all the smiley faces and people happy for Christmas.

"It's very important for us - the Christmas period keeps us going over the winter period when we're not operating.

"It keeps our cash flow going. We're not here to make a profit, we're here to preserve history for future generations so it's just about keeping us viable."