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.
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 Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays December 3,4,5,9,10,11,12,17,18, and 19. Starting Christmas week the train will run on December 20,21,22 and 23. The last train of the holiday season will run on December 30th. On Saturdays and Sundays, the train runs at 12 noon, 2:15, 5 p.m., and 7:15 p.m. On Fridays and during Christmas week the train runs at 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
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.
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. Coach tickets are $20 for adults and Children and, first-class tickets are $49.50 for adults and children. The station is located at 242 East Main Street in Thomaston, CT
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. New this year the Danbury Railway Museum is offering a short train ride in a restored 1950s Rail Diesel Car through historic Danbury Railyard, you’ll be escorted back to the station for a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, where the big man himself will give out the first gifts of Christmas (Parents: Bring a pre-wrapped present or select from our online menu [includes FREE gift wrapping & batteries], and Old St. Nick will give your little one their unique present!). The museum is open every Saturday and Sunday, December 4-19 from 12 noon to 7 p.m.
The Danbury Railroad Museum is located on 120 White Street in Danbury. Trains run on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30, 2 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm, and 6:30 pm. Tickets are $20 for ages 2 and up. Click here for more information.