Its most popular Christmas train is the North Pole Express, which runs after Thanksgiving through late December. It later became a small branch of the Reading Railroad, a sprawling 1,300-mile carrier that served central and eastern Pennsylvania. While the museum does not currently have any steam locomotives they do have five diesels, including one of particular note; Union Carbide boxcab #11 built in 1926 by Ingersoll-Rand/General Electric/American Locomotive. The movie is based from Chris Van Allsburg acclaimed children's book by the same name, originally published in 1985. Tweetsie Christmas for 2020 is TBD, as of September 7th. During the 2.5-hour trip kids can enjoy refreshments, meet Santa, receive a gift provided by the parent[s]/guardian[s], and enjoy holiday music.) Among their special events is the annual Santa Express Trains hosted from late November through December. At that time the trackage was known as the "Torrington Secondary" which saw declining use into the 1970's. The museum's longest excursions run 84 miles to the DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards in Westgate and returns. The North Pole Express running from late November and through December, takes visitors to the North Pole Station where kids enjoy treats, sing Black Hills Central Railroad (Hill City): Tucked away in western South Dakota is one of the nation's finest heritage railroads, the Black Hills Central. It will take place November 20th through December 30th, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.. There are also a lot of other Indiana train rides and train activities near Indianapolis. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 2020 holiday schedule consists of train departures in November and December leading up to Christmas from the downtown Railroad Depot in Elkins, West Virginia. It operates Fridays-Sundays from late November through early January. An event for the kids it is a 3 1/2-mile trip lasting twenty minutes; during the journey children can enjoy refreshments, meet Santa, and receive a small gift. It began excursions in 1990 and today is a highly successful tourist attraction hosting public trips from May through December. small gift. Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad (Middletown): The Milk & Honey Line is named for the railroad which built the 6.5 miles of track between its namesake towns along Swatara Creek. excursions in the region. With a vast range of incredible places to visit, Great Rail Our selection changes regularly, so you’ll get to sample regional and out of state favorites. breaks in Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg as well as in the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (Chattanooga): Another fine Tennessee heritage railroad can be found in Chattanooga, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Roaring Camp Railroads (Felton): Most tourist railroads operate tracks previously abandoned or sold by a larger freight line. Skunk Train/California Western Railroad (Fort Bragg): The Skunk Train, officially known as the California Western Railroad, is a popular Northern California railroad running 40 miles from the coast at Fort Bragg to Willits. Head to the "North Pole" with your little ones in a fabulous Victorian-style train, then enjoy a Christmas show, a visit from Santa, and a souvenir mug. It connected with Union Pacific at the former town and primarily served agriculture along the Hood River. Please visit the railroad's website for more information about these trips. It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. Visit Stone Mountain Park. With that in mind I have compiled a list of fabulous, festive Santa Train rides around the UK. Managers also have a good knowledge of the destinations that our Both are a fun experience for the entire family. Please be aware that these trains use open-air cars so be sure to dress accordingly. While Christmas train rides have been around for quite some time, interest spiked after Warner Brothers Pictures released The Polar Express in November, 2004. well as receive a souvenir gift. running from late November and through December. CANCELLED FOR 2020: Powered by Midland Railway, The Polar Express Train Ride runs from historic Baldwin City, Kansas. Southern Michigan Railroad (Clinton): This little tourist line offers the Santa Special excursions during the holiday season each December. To begin this endeavor they acquired former Indiana Railroad car #65 by pitching in $100 each. A highly recommended database! The train is stationary for this event. Lincoln and Woodstock during the daytime only and last over an hour where kids can enjoy hot chocolate, receive a box of cookies, a visit from Santa, and a small gift. Mountain Rail Adventure excursions explore the more remote regions of the mountains where even automobiles cannot access! Much of it was abandoned in the 1970's and what is now used as a heritage railroad was reduced from the standard gauge of 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches to a narrow-gauge 3-foot system. It The Santa Special is offered on select dates during December while the North Pole Express is available most Fridays through Sundays from mid-November through early December. In 1969, through a generous donation by the Southern, a permanent location was found at nearby North Chamberlain Avenue. Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa): Simply put this is one of the finest excursions you will find anywhere; the Napa Valley Win Train not only offers superb, first class amenities but also maintains a fleet of all-matching equipment. The train only runs during select weekends from June through early October. Select days, November 27 - December 23, 2020 New for 2020! Indeed, this train ride is set to the motion picture's soundtrack. While the company primarily focuses on this business its excursions, noted for their murder mystery dinner trains, have gained a serious following over the years. They are also play an educational role by teaching kids what it is like to be an engineer or conductor. This has been especially true as freight railroads have abandoned or sold track deemed redundant or unprofitable. In 2000 the group was recognized as Georgia's "official transportation history museum." We're always looking for new volunteers! This Week In New Jersey . It was designed as a duel narrow gauge (3 foot)/standard gauge operation; the former would run west from Golden to serve the mining industry while the latter would link Golden with Hazard (near Cheyenne, Wyoming) where a connection was made with Union Pacific. At its peak the little system operated just 11 miles from a connection with the Seaboard Air Line at Kingsland to St. Marys. Royal Gorge Route Railroad (CaÃ±on City): One of the most visually stunning feats of railroad engineering was completed through Colorado's Royal Gorge during the 1870's as the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and Denver & Rio Grande fought for control of this natural wonder to tap Colorado's lucrative mining trade. For many years the property was owned by the Baltimore & Ohio, our nation's first common-carrier. Friday November 27, 2020 kicks it all off. ride lasts for about 40 minutes and runs on two Saturday's in early December. Each Christmas they host the Candy Cane Express in which the train is decorated for the holidays. The 3-foot gauge was incorporated in 1890 by David Eccles to move logs out of the Sumpter Valley to the Oregon Lumber Company's sawmill in South Baker City (this point also established a connection with the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company, a Union Pacific subsidiary). We welcome you to the 2020 Christmas Train at Kirby Family Farm! is another popular event; it is a train ride/boat trip that showcases the Christmas Take a night-time train ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Once you have arrived visit the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Museum and enjoy shopping on main street. Your contributions support the development and outreach programs for at-risk and special needs children. Unfortunately, once mining operations slowly dried up there was a decreasing need for the railroad; the first public excursions were hosted in 1957 from Hill City. However, the company has persevered and remains in business today. This train ride is … However, our train crews are always pleased to lend assistance when boarding and alighting from the train (provided wheelchairs or other oversize assistive devices are not required during the trip). movie, Pere Marquette 2-8-4 #1225 which often pulls the train. However, the Consolidation is currently down for overhaul and the railroad is working to return a massive 2-6-6-2 "Mallet" to service. St. Nick gives everyone the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell (only believers can hear ringing!). While the scenery alone and many special trips continue to draw in visitors, the railroad's two operating steam locomotives do as well; former Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic 0-6-0 #58 and Mississippi Central 4-4-0 #98. Tennessee Valley Railroad/Instagram . Today, SRI is a educational enterprise, teaching the public about steam-era technology. This was established along the Central Pacific at Colfax with the line running roughly due north. Alas, as the industry fell on hard times (1970's), each line's use dwindled in importance. SAM Shortline (Cordele): One of the longer train rides available, the SAM Shortline offers various trips along a route that spans a total of 34 miles between Cordele and Archery. Its list of buildings and equipment is extremely impressive. In addition, the railroad features "Breakfast And Storytime With Mrs. Claus" for one day in November where kids can enjoy breakfast with Mrs. Claus and hear a Christmas tale. If you are a train nut they have an impressive collection of equipment, including several lightweight, stainless steel coaches built by the Budd Company, a slumbercoach, two former Bessemer & Lake Erie F7A's, a GP7, SW1, SW8, and GP10. The gravel pit ceased production in 1923 and operations generally wound down over the next twenty years; when restrictions on gold mining began in March, 1942 the railroad applied for total abandonment and all service ceased on July 10th that year. Edaville Railroad (South Carver): This heritage railroad is one of the few built entirely from scratch and does not utilize a former right-of-way. The museum makes this a priority and strives to be sure he speaks with all of the children during the trip. During the holiday season they host the Christmas Light Extravaganza, which includes the Polar Express train ride where folks can see Christmas lights around the grounds and enjoy hot chocolate. It began as a grassroots organization started by a group of ten railroad enthusiasts who launched the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in 1953. That year they purchased a little 0-4-0 steamer built by the. By 1891, 22 miles was opened to McEwen and eventually reached Bates, boasting an impressive network of 60.2 miles! It is a must visit! Select days, November 27 - December 23, 2020 New for 2020! They can also partake in a parade and seasonal music. The CN went on to join one of the largest narrow-gauge systems ever built in 1882, the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway. In 1997 Union Pacific agreed to sell the most scenic 12 miles, including the fabled hanging bridge, as a tourist attraction. BOOK NOW LEARN MORE. Southern Pacific SD40 #8428 leads Amtrak's "San Francisco Zephyr" westbound over Donner Pass as it crosses Dutch Flat Road in January, 1975. Along with #154 previously mentioned their other steamers include Illinois Central 0-4-0 #1 (a very historic locomotive built by England's Braithwaite & Ericson in 1834), Rockton & Rion 2-8-0 #203 (built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925), and San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway (Texas & New Orleans) 4-4-0 #60 (a 1922 product of Baldwin). kids get to see Santa and his elves, sing songs, and hear a Christmas The railroad offers a number of holiday-themed trips such as a once-annual event known as the Christmas In Plains where patrons travel to Plains, Georgia and enjoy the sights of area Christmas lights and decorations. Shore Line Trolley Museum (East Haven): If you enjoy the interesting but often unknown history of interurbans and streetcars the Shore Line Trolley Museum is the place for you; the group focuses on preserving this unique aspect of transportation once found throughout New England. They also maintain other historic locomotives, like Nickel Plate Road PA #190, the only of its kind still running in America. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 2020 holiday schedule consists of train departures in November and December leading up to Christmas from the downtown Railroad Depot in Elkins, West Virginia. This line originally ran from Flint to Fostoria (19.5 miles) and was completed by the 1870's. This event features a 2-hour train ride for kids to enjoy pizza and a ride with Santa. Christmas Train Experiences in Columbus. In 1989 the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum was created to preserve its memory. With declining ridership and rising costs, abandonments began in 1938, the same year the company's name was changed to the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Company. This event also serves to remind families of the importance of rail safety via the Operation Lifesaver program. Unfortunately, by the time he began this quest the Central Pacific/Southern Pacific, led by the infamous "Big Four" of Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker had already cornered this market with the Transcontinental Railroad's completion in May, 1869. The railroad has also branched out into general freight service on an as-needed basis. Santa’s Christmas Trolley. During the Christmas season join them for a holiday celebration on the rails which includes the North Pole Express and Candlelight & Cocktail On The Rails. Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (Portland): The ORHF, which maintains two operating and historic steam locomotives (Southern Pacific 4-8-4 #4449 and Spokane Portland & Seattle 4-8-4 #700) hosts The Holiday Express (pulled by #4449) during select weekend dates from late November through mid-December. Chartered on March 20, 1874 the NCNG was built to the typical narrow-gauge of 3 feet and intended to serve the ongoing gold rush. As a result, the, The Black River & Western was a startup tourist attraction conceived by. For Christmas, two trips are offered; the Christmas Limited and North Pole Express. Southeastern Railway Museum. The other three include Alabama Power 0-4-0F (fireless) #40, Alabama By-Products 0-6-0 #4046, and Woodward Iron 2-8-0 #38. The latter is somewhat similar to the former but the kids actually get to see the North Pole! A few weeks before Christmas, families are invited to climb aboard a VRE train with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus to bask in the holiday spirit! Today, numerous organizations host officially licensed trips featuring his work and these usually sell out months in advance. The current Georgetown Loop Railroad has reactivated 4.5 miles of the old roadbed, including the legendary loop; rebuilding began in 1973 and was officially opened on March 10, 1984. For many years the railroad hosted the annual "Festival Of Lights" which always drew large audiences each season. These region can claim some of the earliest streetcar systems ever put into operation; during the 19th century most used horses or mules and some didn't even have tracks! Some of their notable special events aside from the Santa Train include the Bunny Train, Del Shannon Day Car Show Shuttle, Veteran's Free Troop Train, The Famous Pumpkin Train, and The Great Train Robbery. By then the group's collection had amassed 40 pieces, which now included both general railroad equipment and interurban cars. includes unlimited cocoa, a cookie, and a souvenir mug), Caboose, and Deluxe Coach. Sacramento RiverTrain (West Sacramento): California's generally mild climate allows organizations, if they so choose, to host rail excursions year-round. Christmas-themed activities including a Children's Christmas Train, It was born in 1952 during a great transition within the railroad industry; the iconic steam locomotive was being retired in favor of the new diesel-electric while Americans were abandoning rail travel for automobiles and airliners. Also be sure to visit their one preserved NCNG steam locomotive, 2-6-0 #5 built by Baldwin in 1875. Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that. They offer a nice experience and their close proximity to Raleigh, the Research Triangle, and the I-40 corridor allows the museum to draw nice crowds each year. After two years of work she was fired (started) for the first time in November, 1985. Then plan a visit to the Midwest Central Railroad! It lies along an active Norfolk Southern corridor (ex-Southern Railway) and utilizes 5 miles of the old Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis running to the east and west of town. The East Troy Electric Railroad is a division of the East Troy Railroad Museum and its primary mission is to preserve the region's interurban heritage. By Allie Early , Danielle Valente and Oliver Strand Posted: Monday November 11 … SAM's other holiday-themed rides include the North Pole Express (this train will travel from the Georgia Veterans State Park Depot to Cordele where kids can meet Santa and enjoy the town's "Winter Wonderland"), Candy Cane Express (This trip is something a little different; guests will travel to President Jimmy Carter's hometown of Plains while munching on candy canes and listening to Christmas music. Three (PRR, Erie, and C&O) were major corridors reaching Chicago; during the mid-20th century one could witness over 125 trains a day pass through the small town and nearly all of the community's residents worked for the railroad. If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer. Occasionally, trips run as far east as Hillsdale, 23 miles from Coldwater. In 1996 the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society acquired the property with intentions of running excursions. The modern Western Pacific was much smaller than SP but nevertheless maintained a respectable system that was not only well built but also circumvented the treacherous Donner Pass by building through the Feather River Canyon. The A&M began in 1986 over a long stretch of the old St. Louis-San Francisco Railway ("Frisco") between Fort Smith, Arkansas and Monett, Missouri, a distance of 140 miles. In 1998 a gentleman by the name of Andre Kristopans put together a web page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division. See our local DEALS page. allows kids to experience a half-hour train ride to see Santa and Mrs. Among their seasonal activities is hosting the North Pole Express for Christmas. They also have a new event entitled Santa's Steam Spectacular which departs from New Hope. To host excursions they built a short, 1.25-mile segment of loop narrow-gauge track (3 foot). However, for the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge it was built entirely from scratch by F. Norman Clark who sought to resurrect steam-powered train rides during an era when the iron horse was vanishing across America. Check out their website to learn more about all of the trips and packages the railroad has to offer. After a few years of tireless efforts the first rebuilt segment opened to the public in 1999. This small town was then served by four major railroads; the Pennsylvania, New York Central, Erie, and Chesapeake & Ohio. The first train ride is scheduled to leave at 6:30 pm and runs approximately every half hour. At the latter point a connection was made with the Southern Railway's Murphy Branch (FYI, part of this line hosts another popular excursion train, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad!). The organization is a spin-off of the Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM) and focuses exclusively on Minneapolis's streetcar/interurban heritage, specifically the Twin City Rapid Transit Company which operated from 1875 to 1970. ", "PJ's With Santa," and "Breakfast With Santa." They also offer a single, 90-mile round trip held in late November which lasts 6 1/2 hours! They host excursions during various times throughout the year. This occurred in 1917; afterwards the state's streetcar network rapidly disappeared. Today, visitors can see the majestic redwoods by train while navigating through tunnels, over bridges, and passing small communities such as Pudding Creek, South Fork, Northspur, and Burbeck. BOOK NOW LEARN MORE. The railroad eventually wound up as part of the Missouri Pacific, one of the Midwest's largest with roughly 12,000 route miles. As a result, the railroad's future remained in limbo. Editor's Note: This train has been canceled for 2020. It launched in September and continues to host public excursions and whatever freight is available between Waterbury and Torrington (19.6 miles). While the organization offers some wonderful trips, if you are a history buff you will love their impressive collection of rare locomotives like Clover Valley Lumber Company 2-6-6-2T #4, Robert Dollar 2-6-2T #3, and Southern Pacific ML-4000 #9010 (the only one of its type preserved). This is one of the longest Christmas-themed rides you can experience; it lasts four hours during which time kids can see Santa, enjoy cocoa, and partake in live musical As a result, groups were popping up here and there to preserve its memory. Thank you for a great year! Some of these trains are operating at limited capacity, so if you want a yuletide ride, you should act fast. While this quaint operation is not well-financed like the Strasburg Railroad, Grand Canyon Railway, or Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad it nevertheless offers a nice experience for anyone interested in enjoying a short train ride. Six were manufactured by Germany's Henschel & Sohn while two others were built here in the U.S. by Baldwin Locomotive Works. To host excursions the group picked up a pair of 2-6-0's and constructed a pole-barn roundhouse to store and maintain their new acquisitions. Baltimore & Ohio E8A #1435 dashes through the snow near Germantown, Maryland with train #11, the "Metropolitan," on March 2, 1969. The production is somewhat similar to The Polar Express; elves dance down the isles singing Christmas songs, kids enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, meet Santa, and experience a reading of "The Train To Christmas Town." yourself to one of our outstanding Christmas tours by train. To learn more about all of their events please visit the railroad's website. On April 2, 1858 it opened to Pilot Knob (very near Ironton), then continued expanding southwestward. Grand Canyon Railway: Operates official The Polar Express events from early, November through early January on select dates. While the organization offers some wonderful trips, if you are a history buff you will love their impressive collection of rare locomotives like, Most tourist railroads operate tracks previously abandoned or sold by a larger freight line. Village provides short train rides, 2020 no events known organization offers great... `` a Christmas theme with kids meeting Santa. 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