Rain was no match for Santa Claus, platinum-selling country music legend Marty Stuart and 100-plus elves aboard the CSX Santa Train.
“We’re proud to have a rich history at CSX, and with history comes tradition,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX. “There’s nothing like the Santa Train, and each year we look forward to celebrating this tradition with communities we have been part of for decades. Having Marty Stuart and his Superlatives on board for the 77th run made it even more memorable for everyone involved.”
The CSX Santa Train travels a 110-mile route through rural Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee on the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year. Along the way, the train stops 12 times to hand out more than 15 tons of toys, books and winter weather clothing. In addition to CSX, event partners include Appalachian Power, Food City, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Soles4Souls.
Stuart spoke fondly of his experience on the Santa Train.
“This event is legendary,” Stuart said. “But it’s one of those kinds of things you really can’t understand until you come and be a part of it. I had a sense from the minute we pulled out that I’d love it. And I have. I’ve loved every second of this.”
A special addition to this year’s event was the return of the Clinchfield 100. The car, which is owned by the Watauga Valley Railroad Association, was part of the Santa Train from 1953 to 1983 and returned this year after an extensive renovation.