Railroad Christmas

Release date: 12/30/2010


Santa Rides the Rails at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer this December
CONTACT: Mark Brown
                      Information & Communication Specialist
                      (704) 636-2889, ext 240
Santa Train and Cookies and Cocoa with Santa Kick Off the museum’s holiday events December 4, 2010
SPENCER, N.C. – The N.C. Transportation Museum invites visitors to celebrate the holidays with two great train rides. During Santa Train, Kris Kringle himself will be your fellow passenger as your roll down the tracks. On our Cookies and Cocoa with Santa rides, visitors can enjoy a nighttime train trip to visit the Jolly Old Elf in the Roundhouse.
Santa Train rolls out of the station each weekend in December before Christmas. This annual event sees Santa Claus trading his reindeer and sleigh for a shiny red fire engine before boarding the N.C. Transportation Museum’s on site train ride for a 25 minute trip around the museum grounds. 
During the ride, Santa will hand out oranges, a Southern railway tradition that dates back to the 1930's.  During the Depression, children would gather alongside the railroad line, where engineers and employees of the Southern Railway would hand out oranges for Christmas.  For some of these children, it was the only gift they received.  The N.C. Transportation Museum honors that tradition, while celebrating the holidays with a fun and festive train ride. 
            Santa Train tickets are $7 per person or $6 per person with the donation of an unwrapped gift for needy children. Members receive a discount. Children younger two and under who can sit on a guardian's lap for the length of the ride do not need a ticket.
            Santa Train takes place Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19. Train rides take place every 45 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. each Saturday of the event. Rides take place every 45 minutes between 1:30 and 3:45 p.m. each Sunday of the event.
            For the first time, Santa Train tickets are being sold in advance. You can purchase those tickets online at www.nctrans.org or by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 232. Tickets will also be available on the day of the event.
            The museum’s Cookies and Cocoa with Santa event allows visitors to take a rare evening train ride at the N.C. Transportation Museum.  The Cookies and Cocoa train stops at the Bob Julian Roundhouse for a special visit with Santa Claus himself. Kids can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, hear stories read by one of Santa's helpers and enjoy a tasty treat.
            The museum’s Cookies and Cocoa with Santa event happens Dec. 4, 11, 17 and 18, with rides taking place at 5:30, 6:30 and 7 30 p.m. each evening.
            Cookies and Cocoa with Santa train rides are $10 per person.  Children two and under may sit on a guardian's lap do not need a ticket. Cookies and Cocoa with Santa tickets are only sold in advance. You can purchase online at www.nctrans.org or by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 232. Member discounts do not apply to this event. Limited space is available, so purchase tickets now. 
The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility is located just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, N.C., and about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Holidays events are part of the Departments of Cultural Resources 2010 theme, “Make History This Holiday.” Visit www.nctrans.org for more information. For information on the Department of Cultural Resources, call (919) 807-7385 or visit www.ncculture.com.
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Division of State Historic Sites, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources