Express hauls 600 during first Santa visit

Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

December 8, 2013

Kevin Boozer

Staff Writer

WINNSBORO — Children in Winnsboro heard the whistle of a locomotive and the “Ho, Ho, Ho” of Santa Claus as they rode on the S.C. Railroad Museum’s Santa Express on Nov. 30.

The volunteer staff at the railroad museum said about 600 people rode the rails Saturday, a near capacity turnout that has them with high hopes for a busy holiday season there.

These events are done for the fun and the memories but also, the proceeds go toward helping the museum, not only with operating expenses, but with future growth. Right now the railroad museum has about 5.5 miles of usable track but there are 6.5 more miles of track they would love to add to the route. The addition will cost around $1.5 million, so proceeds from these seasonal events, it is hoped, will help make a dent in that sizable goal for the organization.

People came from Fort Mill, Charlotte, Charleston, West Union, Augusta, Lancaster, Newberry and even Utah to ride the Santa Express. Online publicity has helped the museum attract more out of town visitors, something volunteers hope will trickle up and help the local economy.

The train ride lasts about an hour. Children have the chance to get their pictures taken with Santa and all children receive a special treat. For passengers in first class, the event includes refreshments in the dining car with attendants waiting.

Santa trains run Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. Children are encouraged to bring letters for Santa to take back to the North Pole. Train rides are at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on both Saturdays. On Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. there will be a special twilight trip with limited seating and special ticket prices.

For more details, and to order tickets online, see www.scrm.org/ or order by calling 803-712-4135.