Magical holiday excursion train with polar bears, cats, elves and Santa departing from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Nov. 23 through Jan. 6
Santa Cruz, Calif., November 1, 2012 -- For the first time in more than 50 years passenger train service returns to Santa Cruz beginning November 23 when Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway unveils its newest holiday train ride called “The Train to Christmas Town.”
The excursion train is based on the just-published holiday book “The Train to Christmas Town” that tells the heartwarming tale of a young girl's journey to trust in the magic of Christmas through the support of family, friends and a host of characters including a cuddly polar bear named “Bumblebee”, a cat named “Zephyr”, birds, a squirrel, elves and, of course, Santa Claus.
During the hour-long ride that departs from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and travels magically to Christmas Town, passengers will hear a retelling of the story of young Janice and her brother Paul as they ride the train to Christmas Town. Along the way passengers are served hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies, talk with characters from the book and listen to a new musical score created specifically for the event by four-time Grammy nominated band Trout Fishing in America. When the train arrives at Christmas Town, Santa and his elves climb on board, talk with the children, sing Christmas carols and present each child with a special gift.
“We’re thrilled to launch The Train to Christmas Town in Santa Cruz,” said Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis. “We operate holiday trains around the U.S. and U.K. and find parents and grandparents enjoy the experience just as much as the the kids. It will become a family holiday tradition.”
Each child receives a copy of the book “The Train to Christmas Town” and all passengers receive hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies, a candy cane, a gift from Santa and a ticket for one of three free games at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. A gift shop is located at the Boardwalk and parking is available for $6 per vehicle in the Beach Boardwalk parking lots across from the departure platform.
The Train to Christmas Town is operated by the new Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway and will run from November 23 through January 6 with several departures five days per week. Tickets go on sale November 1 and can be purchased online at TrainToChristmasTown.com or by phone at 888-978-5562. Tickets are $25 for children ages 2-12 and $35 for ages 13-adult. Children under 2 are free when riding on an adult’s lap.
About Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway
Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway, a subsidiary of Iowa Pacific Holdings, operates freight and passenger service on the Santa Cruz branch rail line extending from Watsonville to Davenport. Iowa Pacific operates holiday excursion and special event trains around the U.S. and U.K. and operates the passenger train in Machu Picchu, Peru.
About the book “The Train to Christmas Town”
“The Train to Christmas Town” was written by first-time author Peggy Ellis and illustrated by Chicago artist Jeffrey Lee. It tells the heartwarming story of a young girl, Janice, as she rides the train to Christmas Town, talks with Bumblebee the polar bear, Zephyr the cat and a host of other characters from the book. Children riding the Train to Christmas Town receive a copy of the book. It is also available online at TrainToChristmasTown.com, at Bookshop Santa Cruz and soon at other locations.