All Aboard with Santa in Thomaston and Danbury

We know that Santa gets around during the holiday season, but sleighs are not his only favorite mode of travel. In Litchfield Hills, you can often find the man in red enjoying a holiday train ride–and he loves company.

Northern Lights Express Naugatuck Rail Road

On December weekends, Santa can be found aboard the Santa Express leaving from Thomaston, CT, ready with bags of goodies for all the young passengers he meets along the way. Santa is so fond of trains that he even has two satellite workshops in train cars, one reached via a vintage train ride at the Danbury Railway Museum and another along the way on the Northern Lights Limited, a nighttime train excursion from Thomaston.

Rides are just part of the special railroad fun for families this year in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, where lavish displays of working model trains are a traditional holiday treat in several locations.

The Santa Express in Thomaston This 1920s vintage train travels along the scenic Naugatuck River for a warm, cozy 80-minute round-trip ride. Santa brings along Mrs. Claus and some friendly helper elves to visit with each child on board. Trains depart from the historic 1881 station in Thomaston Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Dec. 13,14,19,20,21.

RMNE Santa with passengers small

Light displays inside and out make for an exciting outing at night aboard the Northern Lights Limited from Thomaston. The train makes a stop at Santa’s Train Workshop, where the great man will board and greet everyone with gifts. Trains depart at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on December 14,19,20,and 21.

Back at the gaily decorated station, a model train layout is in action, and a large selection of railroad theme gifts, books and memorabilia can be found. Tickets and information are available from the Railroad Museum of New England, online at www.rmne.org, or by phoning (860) 283-7245.

All Aboard in Danbury At the Danbury Railway Museum, a classic 1903 station with a railroad yard filled with vintage train cars, visitors can ride a working vintage train through the yard to Santa’s Workshop. They will find him busily supervising his elves as they make toys, but still with time to talk with visitors and offer a small gift for every child.

A miniature train layout whizzes its way around the restored station, where once again, there are gifts for railroad buffs of all ages. Trains leave every half hour from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends, December 14, 20 and 21. For tickets and information, see www.Danbury.org/drm or phone: (203) 778-8337.

For information on the Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

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