2012 Santa Express Sells Out!
As printed in the North Vernon Plain Dealer on November 14, 2012
Article by Bryce Mayer
The bad news for youngsters and adults who want to ride the Santa Express passenger train in North Vernon on Saturday is that tickets for all seven rides are sold out. The good news is that standby seating may be available.
“All (850) tickets have been gone for nearly a week,” said Bill Reichenbach of the Park Theatre Civic Centre, which cosponsors the event with the Madison Railroad. “But there always are some people who don’t show up and the railroad will do what it can to find room for people who show up. People can still come to see the movie (‘The Polar Express’) and enjoy the day.”
The seventh annual event involves short train trips, each about 30 minutes, from in front of the Park Theatre to Vernon and back. Tickets are $2 apiece.
“This is our Christmas gift to the community,” said Cathy Hale, Madison Railroad CEO. “All the ticket money goes to charity, too. It’s a good time for all.”
The Santa Express train will include the Madison Railroad’s 50-passenger coach car and 30-passenger caboose along with a 40-passenger car provided by Roger Fuehring of F&M Car and Locomotive in Atlanta, Ind. The Madison Railroad crew volunteers its time to man the train for the special rides.
“It’s amazing,” Reichenbach said. “People love riding the train and many of them come a long distance to do so. It’s the start of the Christmas season, too, which also gets them fired up.”
Santa Claus will accompany the passengers on each ride as will conductor Tom Taylor, who will punch tickets and lead the singing of Christmas carols.
In conjunction with the Santa Express train rides, the Park Theatre will be showing the classic holiday movie “The Polar Express” this weekend: 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Children wearing pajamas will be admitted to the movie free. Adult tickets for the movie are $2 apiece.
For more information, contact the Park Theatre, 25 N. Madison Ave., telephone 346-0330 or 346-4329, website park-theatre.com.