A SPECIAL needs headteacher has praised the Swindon and Cricklade Railway for its services to children with disabilities.

The 4.5-mile railway line has run a specially modified coach, nicknamed Laura, for disabled passengers for seven years.

The carriage is due to go in for repairs after seven years of service to local special needs schools who regularly attend the annual Santa Special event.

Brimble Hill head teacher Alison Paul said the railway and the Santa Special was one of the highlights of the year, for both pupils and staff.

She told the Adver: "We can't thank the railway enough for going out of their way to provide a great experience for all our pupils. The children come back to school full of excitement and with big smiles.

"The wheelchair ramps make it easy for our less mobile pupils to board and alight the train, and the designated wheelchair area, in the carriage, ensures a view out the window."

The railway is seeking further funding to help cover the cost of the repairs. It managed to secure a 2,500 grant from Wiltshire Council's Northern Area Board but needs a further £2,825 to complete the work.