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Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
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   Author  Topic: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train  (Read 368 times)
565fan
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Posts: 1029
Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« on: Nov 5th, 2012, 9:47pm »
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Saturday, December 1 will mark the return of a Christmas tradition that has not yet been remarked on in this forum.  At least I haven't found it.  
Since the late 1990s, the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Steamtown, the D-L railroad and the various towns between Carbondale and Scranton have held a Santa train where the jolly old elf arrives in the center of town to celebrate with the community.  It started out with Santa arriving behind Baldwin 26 in Carbondale, Olyphant and Dickson City.  Each town had its own Santa, and the group would travel with Santa to a firehall or nearby auditorium where they would have a party.  Through the years, Archbald, Jessup and Scranton have added to the event.  
Some years, the train was snowed out.  Nickel Plate Road 514 is the main motive power, but sometimes a D-L engine hauled the coaches through the valley.  
Has anyone here ever chased or photographed the train?  The full schedule is usually available at www.lhva.org If you live in the area, try to make a stop to see this neat home made celebration.  


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mike_nepa
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Posts: 1848
Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23rd, 2012, 8:12am »
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I chased it back in 2009. Pictures of it are on my site here"
 
 
http://www.nepaview.com/lhva-santa-train.html
 
Video:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr_LkSnsuFo&feature=share&list=UUxZA6t2P7Hq3LKBMBaJVaKw
 


« Last Edit: Nov 23rd, 2012, 8:13am by mike_nepa » Logged
565fan
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Posts: 1029
Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #2 on: Dec 27th, 2012, 4:16pm »
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I had a rather light day of work on December 1. All train tickets for Holiday Express were sold out, and I was assigned to the ticket booth.  That freed me up to take photos of the Santa train arriving in Scranton.

The arrival was at 10 minutes to 3.  Here we see Nickel Plate 514 crossing Lackawanna Ave in Downtown Scranton.

The banner dates back to the days when only 5 towns participated in the Santa Train.  This is the third year Scranton is in on the act.

What a stately pose!

The jazz band adds to the atmosphere of the day.

Mrs. Claus and the elves pose for the cameras.

Plus Santa Claus and his makeshift castle    


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565fan
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Posts: 1029
Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #3 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 11:18am »
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This train continues to grow in interest.  For years, park management did not see this train as being part of the park mission, so the train would arrive off site.  Around 150-200 people would show.  
When Superintendent Debbie Conway took office, she worked with the city and the LHVA to bring Santa into Steamtown.  Here is the result... in the rain.  

 
There were a lot of problems that year.  Number one, a runaway car on D-L led to a busted switch on the Strawberry Hill line, so the Santa Train had use of engine 405 on the Carbondale line, and only 514 running solo in the Steamtown yard, making a grand entrance from Bridge 60.


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565fan
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Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #4 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 11:30am »
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Around 500 people showed up in that miserable weather.  The rain did not scare them away.
 
After Santa left the train, the crowd headed to the park theater for photos with Santa and other fun times.
 
Food and  cookies and films were available to the guests.

 
Champ, one of the mascots of the RailRiders, became a ranger for the day.
 
He also posed with the polar bear and the cookie man.  No bites were taken that day.  

 
Are you naughty or nice?  

 
In 2015, I was working a different train, so I did not get to photograph the arrival of Santa.  He came into Steamtown in sunshine, around 3:00, and the train, led by 405, pulled right onto the turntable.  Over 2200 people came to take part.  This was free of charge.


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565fan
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Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #5 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 11:33am »
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This year, the Santa Train will feature Baldwin no. 26.  Her first trip on the line since 1999.  This will take place on December 3.  We are looking forward to it. Stops will be made in Carbondale, Archbald, Jessup, Olyphant, Dickson City and Scranton.  Each stop has its own Santa party near the tracks.  Each stop is free of charge.  We are looking forward to her arrival.

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565fan
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Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #6 on: Nov 16th, 2016, 3:19pm »
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I'll have to step the previous statement back, since I have since heard we don't know if 26 will be on the Santa Train or not.  I'm hearing conflicting stories from all concerned.  The towns need to be notified, and we would have to figure out where and when water would be needed.  
 
Anyway, here is the schedule of times of arrival.   http://www.lhva.org/event/christmas-in-a-small-town-the-santa-train/?instance_id=1877
 
You can watch the train pull on the turntable around 3:00 PM  If you want to view it over Earthcam.com, go right ahead.  


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565fan
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Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #7 on: Dec 7th, 2016, 2:24pm »
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The train for 2016 is now history, and here is a video which captures a lot of the action.  
https://youtu.be/INIwhNgPVlI
Thanks to Big Jim for documenting a day of action for us.


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alzubal
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Posts: 36
Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #8 on: Dec 8th, 2016, 7:28pm »
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When was the last time there was steam in Carbondale?
Al


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Al
565fan
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Re: Christmas in a Small Town Santa Train
 
« Reply #9 on: Dec 14th, 2016, 12:13pm »
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The last time Steamtown ran a steam trip to Carbondale was August of 2003, by my recollection, although there may have been an October trip that year.  The Carbondale Line trips that year were overshadowed by the Delaware Water Gap trains though.
 
The steam engine that ran the excursions that year was Canadian Pacific 2317, as CN3254 was out of service for the year.  On days the train ran the Carbondale line, Steamtown also ran diesel trips to Moscow.  3254 only ran to Carbondale once, during the 1992 RailPhoto weekend. That was the same weekend the double-header to Binghamton, NY took place.  


« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2016, 11:32am by 565fan » Logged

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