R&N To Offer More Santa Trains

Four days after saying it would end tourist train service to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, the Reading & Northern has announced plans for new Santa Train operations at other locations.

This week the R&N’s Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway said it would end operations in November due to an entertainment tax dispute with the borough of Jim Thorpe.

In a news release, the R&N said it will focus the expanded Santa train operations at five communities with existing facilities.

R&N said it will consider additional communities in 2020.

Cities getting the additional Santa trains include:

Reading Outer Station: Nov. 30; Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, and 24; Minersville Station: Nov. 30, Dec. 1; Schuylkill Haven Station: Dec. 7-8; Tunkhannock: Dec. 14-15; and Pottsville Union Station: Dec. 21-22.

Trains will depart at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. at each station and offer 70 to 80 minute trip.

Ticket are $15 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-12; children 2 and under are free. The trains will feature holiday music, free candy, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Ticket information is available at 610-562-2102.

In a related development, the mayor of Jim Thorpe, Michael Sofranko, said the borough was “blindsided” by the decision of the R&N to end its Lehigh Gorge service.

He defended the city’s decision to impose an entertaining tax on the tickets sold by the Lehigh Gorge, saying the trips were round trips and not point to point.

“You go out and you come back,” Sofranko said. “It’s an amusement.”

He also said the borough had been trying to arrange a meeting with Muller to work out an agreement.

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