Archive for the ‘Christmas & Trains’ Category

By Denis Cuff
Contra Costa Times

George and Georgia Schumann needed to get across America to spend Christmas with their daughter in Fayetteville, N.C., but they weren’t keen about the rigors of a drive or the hustle and bustle and sardine-can packing of an airline flight.

“My husband likes to “… stretch in his seat. It’s not easy to do in a plane,” Georgia Schumann said. “And we both like the window seat.”

So, the retired couple from San Pablo rode the train, an option that more Americans are choosing this year for the holidays.

Amtrak train ridership nationwide rose 4 percent to a record 659,184 passengers during Thanksgiving week, while airline ridership declined slightly and auto holiday travel was up.

All three types of travel are expected to increase over the next two weeks with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays as travel rebounds along with a partial recovery of consumer confidence, according to a poll commissioned by the American Automobile Association.

“We’re starting to see a rebound after some dismal years for travel,” said Cynthia Harris, a AAA spokeswoman in Northern California. “Train travel is a strong part of that rebound trend.”

Some train users said the rail’s relaxed pace draws them into the coaches. Others say they appreciate the nostalgia of a travel mode that helped settle and develop the nation before losing ground to cars and planes.

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Source: Salisbury Post

By Hugh Fisher – hfisher@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — He’s making a list, and checking it twice, but not on a sleigh with snow and ice.

Santa Claus is taking the train to town.

With festive decorations aboard, the Santa Train’s been running at the N.C. Transportation Museum for the last two weekends.

Santa and his elves board to pass out treats and talk to each child and family.

“You kids stay sweet and smart,” Santa Claus said to Chloe and Cameron Mullinax of Mount Pleasant.

“Santa’s going to visit you real soon!”

Their mom, Christy Mullinax, has been bringing her daughters to Spencer for the Santa Train for years.

Chloe, who’s 3 years old this Christmas, smiled while one of the volunteers took her picture with Santa, her sister and her mom.

Cameron, who’s 7, had a long wish list ready for Santa:

“A DVD player that sits on your lap and a (Nintendo) DSi,” she said, among other things.

“You think he’s got enough time to get all that together?” Christy asked with a smile.

Cameron smiled and nodded. “He got my letter!”

Families from as far off as Shelby and Winston-Salem were among the riders sharing wishes with Santa yesterday afternoon.

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This is actually a year old, but I just had to re-post it. Model railroaders of all ages will love this. What a cool interactive Christmas card from our friends at Norfolk Southern.

Visit Norfolk Southen: http://www.nscorp.com.

Click on the image below to open the card in a separate window….Enjoy!

 
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 The Polar Express at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Departs Bryson City

“All Aboard” says the conductor, as your train ride begins. Families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with cocoa and cookies served on board the train, followed by a reading of The Polar Express™ by Chris Van Allsburg.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own jingle bell, just like in the story. There will be caroling on board the train as your trip returns to the depot. This is a holiday ride the entire family will enjoy.

Ticket prices start at $38.00 for adults and $26.00 for children ages 2-12.

Children under two years old ride complimentary, but must be seated in an adult’s lap. Premium rates may apply to select dates. For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.
 
First Class seating upgrades are available. Each first class guest will receive a deluxe serving of hot chocolate in a souvenir Polar Express mug, and enjoy short breads and other treats in addition to the standard offerings. First Class fares are $57.00 for adults and $40.00 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old are $10.00.

Call for reservations and details:
1-800-872-4681
www.gsmr.com
www.polarexpressride.com

 
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All aboard!  Come join the Crabtree Rotary and Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department as Pullen Park will be festively decorated with thousands of lights and transformed into a winter wonderland!

 

 

December 10-13, 2009
Pullen Park 520 Ashe Avenue Raleigh
4:00 -9:00 pm

( Due to Santa’s busy schedule, Santa will only be onsite until 9:00 pm, however rides will continue through 9:30 pm) 

Children and adults alike will enjoy this holiday experience as they take the ride of a life time aboard the Santa Express Train! Experience an unforgettable adventure through acres of pure holiday magic where thousands of lights dazzle your senses and then stop off at Santa’s Village where you’ll meet Santa himself!  The evening will also feature concessions, carousel rides, holiday entertainment and more!  

Puchase Tickets in Advance for just $7 per person!  To purchase tickets:

Holiday Express Parking and Shuttle Information:
All Event parking is located off Western Boulevard at the Dorthea Dix Soccer fields on Hunt Drive. Both parking and shuttle services are free to the public and will be available daily from 4:00 pm-9:30 pm. Shuttles will also be able to accommodate ADA and stroller needs.

For more info on the event or for information on becoming a sponsor of the Holiday Express, CLICK HERE or contact the Pullen Park Ticket Office at 919-831-6468.

 
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SantaTrainFeatherDecember 5-6, 12-13, 19-20

Tickets only available on the day of the event. Meet Santa Claus as he trades his sleigh for a locomotive! Take a 25-minute train ride with Santa and his elves, as Santa hands out oranges and candy canes, a Southern Railway tradition.

Children will hear classic Christmas tales and have fun making holiday ornaments in the Roundhouse.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO WATCH SANTA TRAIN VIDEO!SantaAndElfOnTrainFeather

$7 per person
Children who are 2 and under and will sit on a guardian’s lap for the
length of the train ride are free, and do not need a ticket to ride the train.
$5 for Firemen Level Members
$3.50 for Conductor Level Members

Free for Engineer Level Members

CLICK HERE to find our how to have cookies and cocoa with Santa!

Santa In The Roundhouse
 
 
 
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The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s Seasonal Service to the North Pole!

Bryson City, NC – In 1985, Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, a story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. The train takes a young boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. “The Polar Express,” published by Houghton Mifflin Company, has become a contemporary holiday classic, with over 6 million copies sold worldwide. In 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. reunited the Academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis in an inspiring animated version. That same year GSMR began operating The Polar Express based on the storybook version. Over 40,000 passengers rode The Polar Express with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2008.
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The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the “North Pole” to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board The Polar Express, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. 

The Polar Express 2009 schedule is November 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, & 19 departs at 6:30pm. November 7, 14, 22, 24, 25, & 29 departs at 5:00pm & 6:30pm. November 20, 21, 27, & 28 departs at 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 2, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17 departs at 5:00pm & 6:30pm. December 3, 4, 10, & 11 departs at 11:00am, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 5, 12, & 19 departs at 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 18, 20, 21, 22, & 23 departs 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm.

Ticket prices are $38.00 for adults and $26.00 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old ride complimentary. For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.

First Class seating upgrades are available. Each guest will receive a deluxe serving of hot cocoa in a souvenir Polar Express mug, and enjoy short breads and other treats in addition to the standard offerings. Ticket prices for First Class are $53.00 for adults and $36.00 for children. Children under two years old are $10.00.

Smoky Mountain Trains Museum admission is included with all train excursion tickets. Without train excursion admission is $9.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Children.

About the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad:
With 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels and 25 bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions that explore the amazing landscape of western North Carolina. With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, guests on-board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy scenic train journeys across fertile valleys and through river gorges in a spectacular region near The Great Smoky Mountains. Proud member of the American Heritage Railways family. Visit our sister railroads in southwest Colorado at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and in east Texas at the Texas State Railroad.

 

 
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