NEW HAVEN, INDIANA – Santa Claus and his very own train will return to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society this December. A long-standing community tradition, the Santa Train has increased in popularity throughout the years prompting the creation of a new ticketing system for the convenience of passengers.
On December 6th, 13th, and 20th the Santa Train will operate from 9AM to 4PM, with trips departing approximately the organization’s facility at 15808 Edgerton Road every 25 minutes. Passengers will enjoy a train ride with Santa aboard a historic caboose. Cost is $4 for children and $5 for adults.
Passengers will also have the opportunity to tour historic steam locomotive no. 765, enjoy Bravas Food’s signature hot dogs, and enjoy activities for children and families. The Santa Train is made up of a historic 1950s diesel and two vintage cabooses.
“We had over 3,000 people ride the Santa Train last year,” stated Bill Otter, president of the organization which sponsors historic railroad experiences throughout the year. “Due to the tremendous response, we’re offering online ticket sales for the first time in the event’s history.” The society has also offered hour-long evening charters with Santa Claus for groups and families, which have already sold out.
On November 24th, tickets will be available online at www.fortwaynerailroad.org and allow passengers to select the day and time of their trip. Tickets will be sold in hourly blocks.
“We hope to substantially reduce the wait time for our customers while giving them a pleasant and efficient holiday experience,” Otter said, noting that there will be very few walk-in tickets available.
The railroad historical society is no stranger to offering popular rides and excursions. Trips behind the city’s restored steam locomotive no. 765 regularly sell out and within a very short time frame. In 2013, two trips between Fort Wayne and West Lafayette sold out in under two hours. This year, excursions brought tourists from around the world on trips from Detroit, Michigan to the Three Rivers Festival.
The success of these attractions has prompted the non-profit’s inclusion in the local riverfront development plans under the name Headwaters Junction. SWA Group, a planning firm hired by the city in 2013, has strongly endorsed using the presence of the organization as a catalyst for development downtown.
Final plans for the riverfront, Headwaters Junction, and the 765’s excursion schedule for 2015, will be revealed early next year.