Christmas is coming early for rail enthusiasts in Southend this year when a festive themed day-out involving a steam locomotive pulls into town.

The Steam Dreams Rail Company has announced it will be providing transport from Shoebury to Chichester in December to start the festive celebrations early.

Those taking part will be taken to and from Chichester in Pullman-style coaches, which will be pulled along by steam locomotive, the Mayflower.

After arriving in the famous walled-city, passengers will be free to enjoy a Christmas marker, set up in the grounds of Chichester Cathedral.

More than 50 stalls will be set-up as part of the market, while passengers will also get the chance to enjoy a carol concert at St John’s Chapel.

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The day-out takes place on Friday, December 9 and will see the train leave Shoebury at 6.50am.

It will stop at Southend East at 7am, before travelling on past Tilbury and Barking, around London, through parts of Berkshire and Hampshire before arriving at Chichester around 1pm.

The return journey will depart Chichester station at 4.30pm, arriving back in Shoebury at 10.30pm.

The return leg will see the Pullman coaches pulled by a diesel train.

A premier standard ticket costs £139, while a first class seat is £219.

For those wanting the full Pullman dining experience, tickets will cost £349 This includes a champagne breakfast, canapes throughout the day and an evening meal accompanied with half a bottle of wine.

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