INRD Bringing Back Santa Train

Indiana Rail Road’s annual Santa Train will operate on Dec. 3-5, bringing Christmas joy to small towns and villages in Indiana and Illinois.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some changes have been made in the operation of the train although many traditions have been preserved.

INRD said in news release that Santa’s elves will arrive ahead of the train to prepare for its arrival.

Families will be able to watch the train arrive and Santa will appear on the back of a newly-restored caboose.

Children will still be able to mail letters to Santa via the train’s North Pole Express Mailbox.

However, visitors will not be permitted to board the train or visit with Santa due to health, security and safety concerns, INRD officials said.

The annual Santa train is a volunteer project of IND employees. It did not run in 2020 due to the pandemic. The train first operated in 1989.

“It’s great that we are able to bring this tradition back,” Indiana Rail Road CEO Dewayne Swindall said in a statement. “The Santa Train means as much to INRD employees as it does the communities in which we operate.”

Those who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within two weeks of the Santa Train’s operation  and those showing COVID symptoms such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or cold- or flu-like symptoms are asked to refrain from attending the event.

INRD said guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities in close contact with those who are not fully vaccinated.

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