It may be his busiest time of year, but Santa’s making time for families and children in Waterloo Region.
The Waterloo Central Railway kicked off an annual tradition Thursday evening as “Santa’s Christmas Caboose” hit the tracks.
The holiday ride, complete with interactive live music, Christmas characters and more than 20,000 twinkling lights, departs from the Waterloo Central Railway Farmers Market Station and travels up to Elmira before returning.
It’s all smiles aboard the Christmas Caboose. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re two feet tall or seven feet tall, the smiles are ear to ear,” said Bob Fallowfield, general manager of Waterloo Central Railway. “If they’re not ear to ear when they get here, they’re ear to ear when they leave here.”
A trip on the Christmas Caboose takes about an hour and there’s plenty of options. Tickets are available every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening until Christmas.
Rides are free for kids with serious illnesses during opening weekend thanks to a partnership with Ronald McDonald House
Waterloo Central Railway’s holiday train is seen in 2021. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)
The railway says they’re trying to raise money and awareness about Canada’s train history.
“By purchasing a ticket, they’re helping to support the preservation of Canadian railroading. We’re actually fundraising right now for a second steam locomotive. Part of our mission is to educate young and old about the history of Canada. Part of our history is the railway,” Fallowfield said.
While the Christmas Caboose is geared toward kids, there was excitement among people of all ages waiting to board the inaugural ride.
“It’s his second Christmas, so we try and get him into something exciting,” says rider Javed Rasheed. “He likes to ride in cars and stuff like that, so we decided to take him to the train this time. It will be his first train ride.”
“It’s his second Christmas, so we try and get him into something exciting,” said Javed Rasheed, holding his young son. “He likes to ride in cars and stuff like that, so we decided to take him to the train this time. It will be his first train ride.”
It was also a new experience for young rider Henry Poole.
“I’ve never been on a train before, nobody else in my family has. So we’re pretty excited,” Poole said.
Tickets for Santa’s Christmas Caboose are available here.
Henry Poole speaks to CTV News ahead of his first train ride ever. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)
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