SANTA ditched his traditional sleigh to hitch a train ride across Wearside.
He is travelling on Puffing Billy, a replica engine built in honour of one which toured a holiday park, every night in the run up to Christmas Day.
Starting last week, he has already covered areas including Houghton, Shiney Row and Penshaw in the specially adapted road vehicle.
He is planning a trip around Sunderland on Christmas Eve.
South Hetton businessman Ian Morrell recreated the vehicle in homage to the original, which was used to carry people around the Butlins camp, in Filey.
Ian, who runs North Eastern Mobility, said Puffing Billy has been given a warm welcome by residents across the city.
“We’re planning a special trip on Christmas Eve which will take in all of the main towns in Sunderland as well as the city centre itself,” he said.
For times and venues of the tour, visit the www.facebook.com/billy.puffing