THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride Telford & Mid Norfolk

Case Study

In 2016 Telford Steam Railway acquired the licence for THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride. An exciting magical Christmas Experience based on the 2004 movie. My role was to produce the website that would sell tickets to the event. The website, built on WordPress utilising the Woocommerce e-commerce platform had strict rules regarding images used therefore I worked with Railevents Inc and Warner Brothers to create an approved website. The website received over 500,000 hits and we sold 15,000 tickets to the event before September. I also created a strategic marketing campaign through Facebook for the event. In 2017 learning from what worked and what did not, I rebuilt the website to make it easier for customers to buy tickets. I was then approached by The Mid Norfolk Railway whom also wished to stage the event, following recommendations from Railevents Inc (USA) and based upon our 2016 success. In 2017 All tickets for the event, 20,000 at Telford Steam Railway and 14,000 at Mid Norfolk sold out before September.

I created the online ticket system using Woocommerce as the basic platform developing a seat allocation system using PHP to allocate seating to customers, letter generation system for generating custom letters to be sent with tickets, custom CSV exporting tools and custom reporting tools.

I also generated the majority of the graphics manipulating photographs and images using Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Technologies / Applications Used

  • WordPress
  • Woocommerce
  • PHP
  • HTML 5
  • SASS
  • CSS3
  • jQuery
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator

Custom Seat Allocator

The seat allocator was designed to link with Woocommerce orders and pull in the customer details along with the number of tickets used. Prior to the allocators creation an excel spreadsheet was used to manage seating. However as this had no link with the website it failed to have any validation checks, it did not know if an order had been changed and managing the seating was becoming an issue. Therefore I built the allocator to negate all these issues.

Fetaures include:

  • Link orders together
  • Validation of number of seats per order
  • Custom Disabled colours.
  • Auto Colouring of Orders
  • Ability to hold (lock out seats)
  • Change stock
  • Custom Carriage layouts.


Live Website

View Polar Express