1. On Saturday morning November 21, 2015 the annual “Santa Train” sponsored by the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and operated by CSX, ran south from Shelby spreading Christmas cheer. Trouble was, the Big Sandy and Kingsport Subdivisions had just been curtailed as a through corridor and many employees had been affected by furloughs and transfers. Railfans knew that this years train could be the last. For railfans it was a bittersweet day. Here is P907-21 approaching Elkhorn City not long after daybreak. CSX Santa Train Federal.
2. CSX Santa Train crossing Pool Point bridge just south of Elkhorn City. Pool Point.
3. CSX Santa Train slowing for the stop at Clinchco VA. Clinchco.
4. CSX Santa Train Clinchco VA. View 2.
5. The special guest this year was country music singer Meghan Linsey. Santa was very popular also! Clinchco VA. Santa Train & Meghan Linsey. View 3.
6. As the morning warmed up, the crowd got larger at each scheduled stop. CSX Santa Train Clinchco VA. View 4.
7. Leaving Clinchco VA. Next stop was Fremont. CSX Santa Train Clinchco.
8. CSX Santa Train leaving Clinchco VA. View 2.
9. Just out of Martin Tunnel at Wakenva. CSX Santa Train Wakenva.
10. CSX Santa Train Wakenva. View 2.
11. CSX Santa Train Wakenva. View 3.
12. Hard times in the coal fields. Dante Yard is full of stored coal hoppers. CSX stored hoppers Dante.
13. P907 south has 10 cars behind 8033-9998 at Hamlin. This segment between McClure and St. Paul VA, will see no regular trains for the foreseeable future. CSX Santa Train Hamlin.
14. After a stop at St. Paul, the Santa Train is rolling along the Clinch River at Carfax VA. CSX Santa Train Carfax.
15. P907 has just finished its last stop at Waycross TN, and is only a few miles out of Kingsport. CSX Santa Train Frisco.
16. P907 approaches Click Tunnel at Frisco TN. On the left is the connection from Norfolk Southern which is used by their trains to gain access into Kingsport and Eastman Chemical. CSX also uses it for now infrequent coal trains from Harlan County, KY, via trackage rights over NS. CSX Santa Train Frisco.
17. Santa is used to spending a whole night in a sleigh, but spending 8 1/2 hours on the rear platform of business car “West Virginia” waving must have been tiring! CSX Santa Train Frisco.
Lets hope the tradition continues next year!