CSX Santa Train 2019
CSX published the Shelby departure for the annual Santa Train this year as 5:45 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than before. The rest of the stops were on the schedule of recent previous years however. I drove by Marrowbone (Regina KY) at 6:20 a.m. as P936 pulled to a stop, so I don’t know what time they actually left Shelby. Santa took 35 min. to travel 7.3 miles!
1. Appalachian Newspspers article on the Santa Train 2019. 11-19-2019.
2. P936 slowly pulls into Elkhorn City on a cool 11-23-2019.
3. There was a threat of rain, but the weather was OK at Elkhorn City considering the time of year.
4. Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum’s restored ex-Southern Ry. sleeper/lounge Crescent Harbor is a beauty. Check out WVRHS&M’s web site to see all of the work that went into bringing this historic Pullman car back to service.
5. Watauga Valley’s restored CRR Business Car 100 was the sentimental favorite this year, replacing CSX’s West Virginia.
6. CSX personnel keep the area safe until the train stops.
7. Santa is there, but I don’t know about Marty Stewart.
8. Considering the layout of the business car logistics of moving crates of gifts forward was probably a problem compared with the open car West Virginia. But I’ll take the 100!
9. The great thing about digital is that you can practically shoot in the dark! The Santa Train exits State Line Tunnel in the gorge of the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy at the Breaks Interstate Park.
10. View 2 from the Clinchfield Overlook at the Breaks park.
11. P936 has CSX F40s 9998-9993 and 13 cars. View 3.
12. P936 CSX 9998-9993. View 4.
13. Calling the signal “Breaks” and approaching the old Domus tipple. View 5.
14. P936 arriving Haysi VA, and greeted by an anxious crowd of young’uns.
15. Santa is ready! View 2. Haysi VA.
16. It started to rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirits.
17. On Nov. 19, 1983 a young mother (Sue) and 3-year old son (Jason) wait in anticipation at Haysi VA.
18. Clinchfield’s (actually Seaboard’s) Santa Claus Special wasn’t a media event back then. The train didn’t stop, so Jason had to be quick to scoop up the goodies. Santa Train 1983.
19. A glowing porch light guides the way at Delano VA.
20. Ho! Ho! Ho! for this year.
While all of this is fun, let us remember the true reason for Christmas.
A child is born. From the Old Testament in Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born...he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God.