More than 2,000 people hopped aboard the Santa Train out of Minersville this weekend.
It was the first time the Santa Train ran out of here since 2019 and it seems people definitely missed the experience last year when it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
Bob Kimmel, of the Railway Restoration Project 113 non-profit group, says the number of tickets sold for the total of 6 rides on Saturday and Sunday topped that of 2019.
His organization benefits from the Santa Train, getting enough from the weekend’s activities to pay for the anthracite coal that helps fuel the steam locomotive and some upkeep at the historic train station in Minersville.
Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad operates the excursion.
Guests aboard the Santa Train get a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus on board. Before leaving, Boy Scout Troop 600 of Llewellyn provided snacks and refreshments outside. Vendors sold their goods inside the restored train station.
Minersville Santa Train Benefits Local Restoration Group
They all embarked on an 84-minute roundtrip journey. The train goes about as far as Landingville before it heads back to the station.
Like many local non-profits, times are tough financially. Last year’s cancellation certainly didn’t help that.
Kimmel tells The Canary that in addition to money, the rail restoration group could benefit from some experienced volunteers but any help will do.
He said they could use some welders and machinists to help with the maintenance of their restored locomotive.
Railway Restoration Project’s long-term goal is to get a building in which it can house its locomotive.
Learn more about Railway Restoration Project 113 at the organization’s website or on its Facebook page.