Santa Claus Rides the Rails as a “Railroad Christmas” Begins at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer

Release date: 12/1/2008

CONTACT: Mark Brown
Information & Communication Specialist
(704) 636-2889, ext 240

SPENCER, N.C. – Take time in December to enjoy a “Railroad Christmas” at the N.C. Transportation Museum. Throughout the month, the museum will present events that tell the stories of the railroad, while allowing children to tell Santa their fondest Christmas wishes.
Santa Claus gives Donner, Blitzen, and all his reindeer a break each Saturday and Sunday in December before Christmas. Instead of a sled, Santa will ride the rails at the N.C. Transportation Museum. One of the museum’s largest events, Santa Train allows visitors to take a 25-minute train ride with Santa and his elves. 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. The train makes a stop at the Bob Julian Roundhouse, where kids will make a keepsake ornament to remember their trip. Santa Train rides begin Saturday, Dec. 6.
Santa Train tickets are $7 per person or $6 per person with the donation of an unwrapped gift for needy children. Children younger than three who can sit on a guardian's lap for the length of the train ride do not need a ticket to ride the train.
Another December tradition is “Cookies and Cocoa with Santa”, held Dec. 5-6 and Dec. 12-13 This event allows visitors to take a rare evening train ride at the N.C. Transportation Museum. The Cookies and Cocoa train also stops at the Bob Julian Roundhouse for a special treat with the “Jolly Old Elf” himself. Kids can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, hear stories read by one of Santa's helpers and enjoy a tasty treat.
Cookies and Cocoa with Santa train rides are $10 per person. Children younger than three may sit on a guardian's lap for the length of the train ride do not need a ticket to ride the train. Member discounts do not apply to this event. Limited space is available and advance reservations are required. For ticket information, call Vickie Peacock at 704-636-2889 ext. 232.
The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility, is part of the Division of State Historic Sites, Department of Cultural Resources. The Museum 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. For more information visit “Railroad Christmas” events support the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 2008 theme of “Telling Our Stories.” For information on the Department of Cultural Resources, call (919) 807-7385 or visit