As you prepare for the Christmas season it’s easy to get lost in memories of Christmases gone by. Photos of little ones on Santa’s knee that have since had little ones of their own, an ornament that has been handed down from generation to generation or perhaps watching “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” on TV can trigger a flood of memories. We all have memories of that one special gift we just had to have – like Ralphie and his rifle in “A Christmas Story“. For many, that gift was a train. Trains and Christmas do seem to go hand in hand.
It seems the Durham Region believes in Christmas Trains. We are very fortunate in our area that we have access to some real Christmas trains.
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train makes two stops in the Durham Region as it makes its way across the country.
The CP Holiday train visits over 150 communities across the railroad network including stops in Bowmanville and Oshawa. Each stop features a boxcar stage, a lineup of great musical talent and a contribution to the local food bank. The goal of the Holiday Train is to raise awareness in the fight against hunger. Everyone who attends is encouraged to donate food and money which stays in their community. Since the program’s inception back in 1999 , more than $7.4 million and over 3 million pounds of food has been collected in Canada and the U.S.
John Martin, Sales Representative at Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. and member of The Stacee-Free Team, went to the Bowmanville stop with his wife Melanie and their grandchildren. John says,
“Last year we went to the Oshawa stop and we had a lot of fun with the kids. This year we decided to try the Bowmanville stop and really enjoyed ourselves. It’s a great evening out with the grandchildren. The train itself is pretty exciting for all of us. The music is good, the hot chocolate will warm you and the Christmas spirit is high. This year the entertainment was Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame. He had everyone moving and singing along. We make sure that the kids are aware we are there to support the food bank and make a donation so they know there are kids out there that aren’t as fortunate as they are. The Holiday Train has definitely become a family tradition for us.”
There was a great turnout at both locations. People were there to greet the train, with a good portion of the adults toting their children on their shoulders. It’s a lot of fun watching the little ones having a ball, twisting and bouncing, and singing Christmas carols along with the entertainers.
If you were not lucky enough to catch The Holiday train in Bowmanville or Oshawa you still have time to catch the Santa Train in Uxbridge. You and your family can board the train in Uxbridge this weekend for a one hour round trip on the York-Durham Heritage Railway, Greater Toronto Region’s only family tourist train, that also includes a visit from Santa for the little ones.