When three-year-old Evelyn Barker said that all she wanted for Christmas this year was a teddy bear, her family naturally bought her one.
But when the latest travel restrictions came in, young Evelyn was in Leuchars in Scotland and the bear was with her aunt and uncle in Leeds.
So, with the family unable to deliver the bear in person, Emma Barker and James Hamer contacted LNER to enquire about sending it by train.
LNER’s social media team was sympathetic to their plight, so the bear joined the 07:35 Azuma service from York to Aberdeen on Tuesday 22 December, making the 181-mile journey in under four hours and arriving in Leuchars at 11:28.
Evelyn’s parents met the LNER crew as the Azuma train arrived at Leuchars with its special delivery in good time for Christmas Day.
Evelyn is yet to name the bear, which is more than five feet tall and carried a special note around its neck about the journey.
Evelyn’s Dad, Major Tim Barker, said: “We received a message from Auntie Emma and Uncle James in Leeds telling us to get to Leuchars Station to meet the train. We couldn’t believe it when we saw the bear emerge from the First Class carriage with the help of the onboard crew.”
Evelyn’s Mum, Emily Barker, added: “We are so impressed and amazed LNER made this happen for us. All Evelyn wanted for Christmas was a bear and we didn’t think it would happen until the team at LNER offered to help. We can’t wait to see Evelyn’s reaction on Christmas Day.”
LNER managing director David Horne said: “We are thrilled we’ve been able to help make Christmas truly very special for Evelyn this year when her family, like so many others, were unable to travel to be together.
“In what has been a challenging time for all of us, I’m proud our teams were able to help sprinkle some Christmas magic and will hopefully make many people smile.”
LNER is operating mandatory seat reservation on all services with enhanced cleaning measures in place to help keep all customers, colleagues and bears safe.