Wealden Pullman 2020 – keeping you safe

Pullman trainWe are delighted to confirm that the Wealden Pullman will once again be welcoming customers from September 2020.

Welcome aboard!

Whether you’re enjoying a six course evening dinner, a three course luncheon, or our New Years Eve service, you can be assured of a warm welcome at the Kent & East Sussex Railway!

Everyone you see is a dedicated volunteer, giving up their time so that you, our customer, can enjoy the wonderful experience of dining aboard a steam hauled train dating from the 1920’s & 30’s. It’s great fun – we enjoy it just as much as we hope you will! Our team comes from all walks of life and, although very few had previous experience of hospitality when they started, we train everyone in-house to a high standard and work together as one team to create an unforgettable (for the right reasons!) experience. We’ve 46 years of service to date and are proud to be regarded as one of the UK’s finest heritage railway dining services.

Whilst the need to adopt social distancing has inevitably affected the way that we must work, it certainly has not changed our ethos!

We’ve worked hard to ensure that travelling with us remains as safe as possible – but keeping the fun element for which we are well known! We are a COVID-19 secure organisation and have been granted the Visit England “We’re Good to Go”  Industry Standard mark, demonstrating that we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, have Risk Assessments in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

If you’ve travelled with us previously, you’ll know that the period carriages we use have always had low density seating. For your peace of mind though, we have fitted acrylic safety screens between bays of seats in ‘Theodora’ and ‘Maunsell‘ (the seating layout in ‘Barbara‘ means screens are not required). All our seating meets or exceeds the 2m/1m plus requirements and as a result, there’s no requirement to wear face coverings when seated in our dining carriages.

In ‘Maunsell’, where there are tables for two people and tables for four people either side of the aisle, to ensure you feel safe there will be a maximum of 4 passengers allocated seats across each bay of 6 – unless of course you’ve booked two adjacent tables for your own social ‘bubble’. Some examples are shown below:


In this example, two couples are each seated at their own tables (22 & 23) and are socially distanced from one another. Behind is a group of three people (seated at table 24).

All individual groups are socially distanced from each other & table 25 is maintained vacant.


In this next example, tables 22 and 23 have been booked by a family of six people.

Tables 24 and 25 each have two people seated at them, with all individual groups socially distanced from each other


We’ve always taken great care with our cleaning regimes, but we’ve stepped up housekeeping throughout with particular focus on the lavatories, door handles etc. We’re using a product called Zoono, (a long lasting sanitiser, as used on the national rail network) on all contact surfaces. We’re also providing hand sanitisers at strategic locations through the train.

There’s no requirement to wear a face covering on our station platforms, but of course, if you wish to do so then they you may. We would however recommend wearing a face covering when visiting the lavatory. We carry a small stock of face coverings onboard the train so that should you lose or break yours then we can help and ensure it doesn’t spoil your experience.

Keep it simple, keep it safe

We’re asking for everyone’s help by following the simple safety measures we’ve put in place. These measures include:

  • Not attending if you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Maintaining a social distance from other customers and our staff when at the station
  • On arrival at the station, the Conductor (the Train Manager) will provide you with a boarding card/wine list, which will state which door you should use to access the train. Please listen carefully to the announcements that will guide you to your reserved table and minimise contact with other passengers
  • Remaining seated onboard whilst the train is moving – unless you need the toilet of course!
  • Settling you bar account by card payment – cash is not accepted
  • Regularly using the hand sanitiser provided

FAQ’s

  1. What precautions is the K&ESR taking?
    The safety and welfare of our customers and volunteers has always been our top priority and we are taking every measure to ensure this remains so. The following measures have been put in place:
    • Increased intensity and frequency of cleaning on our trains and stations
    • Card payments only, no cash accepted
    • Managed boarding of the train
    • Hand sanitising points available at strategic locations
    • Changes to the way food is served to ensure it stays safe & to permit staff to social distance. For example, butter & sugar will be provided in sealed portions & meals will be served plated rather than silver served.
    • Regular cleaning & sanitisation carried out. We’re using Zoono on all contact surfaces, as used on the national rail network
    • Temperature checks for all staff
    • We support the NHS Test and Trace scheme
  2. Do I need to wear a face covering?
    Government regulations do not require the wearing of a face covering when you are eating or drinking. You may of course wear a face covering when not eating if you wish. A limited supply of disposable masks will be available should you lose or break your own.
  3. Is there any reason why I should not visit?
    We respectfully ask that everyone take responsibility for their own health before visiting. Please do not visit if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have any underlying health conditions that might put you at risk. It is your responsibility to make the right choice for yourself and others around you. Please follow the government advice https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus If you or anyone who is intending to travel on our services have had any symptoms within the last 14 days, then you should not attempt to visit us. Please contact our booking office who will be able to discuss options open to you, such as moving your booking to later this year or next. No administration charge is normally made for such changes.
  4. Will the menu be the same?
    There are no changes to the menu content, although there will be some changes to the way it is served to you. Your menu is available to download from our website https://kesr.org.uk/downloads/  – please do let us know in advance if you have a special dietary requirement.
  5. What are the rules about social distancing?
    We strongly recommend everyone follows current government guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing-after-4-july
  6. I’ve booked a table to dine with my friends – can we meet up?
    Please follow the latest government guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing – we are a COVID-19 secure venue
  7. I have another question
    Please contact us via [email protected] if you have any questions about the Wealden Pullman that have not been answered on this page.

The K&ESR is a registered educational charity and relies on the support of our members, donors and visitors to fund its work. This is an exceptionally challenging time and we have experienced a huge loss of income this year. Although we have now reopened, we still face significant financial challenges due to the need to restrict visitor numbers. We are extremely grateful to our everyone who has been so very kind & supportive.

We understand these are uncertain times for everyone and are very grateful for any support offered, no matter how big or small – our appeal remains open. If you would like to help, please donate, join as a member HERE, or purchase a Gift Card.

Thank you for your support!