Bob Krug, Nazareth, sits with his granddaughter Alyssa Nedick, 2, of Fogelsville, waiting for departure on the Santa Claus Steam Train Ride presented by the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad in conjunction with Railway Restoration Project 113 at the Minersville Train Station last December.

Reading & Northern has announced a schedule for a series of new Santa Train rides.

Reading & Northern has announced that 2019 Christmas trains will be focused on those communities that had existing facilities for their trains.

The railroad terminated its relationship with the Borough of Jim Thorpe because of the lack of support from borough officials. The railroad thanked people throughout the region, including residents and merchants in Jim Thorpe for their support.

“The goal of our passenger program was always about bringing joy and happiness to the communities, the riders, our employees and our company. People don’t realize how expensive it is to maintain and replace engines and passenger coaches. When we look at all of the costs of running our passenger operation we understand that we are not in the business to make money; we do it because it’s a labor of love. If we can’t have fun doing it, we have decided not to do it. We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received this week and it has made us realize that there are communities and people who love the railroad as much as we do. Our Santa Train schedule for 2019 is an effort to bring joy to as many families as possible this year while making sure our loyal employees also have a great holiday season,” said Reading & Northern Railroad CEO Andy Muller.

The 2019 Christmas schedule is as follows, according to the railroad:

  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, and 24 —Reading Outer Station
  • Nov. 30 and Dec. 1— Minersville Station
  • Dec. 7 and 8 — Schuylkill Haven Station
  • Dec. 14 and 15 —Tunkhannock
  • Dec. 21 and 22 — Pottsville Union Station

According to the railroad, all trains depart at all locations at 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 3:30 p.m. for a 70- to 80-minute round-trip.

All Santa Claus Special Train rides are $15 per adult and $9 per child ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and under receive a free ticket. The railroad said each guest will receive a free piece of candy and a special visit from Santa Claus, along with holiday music playing on the train.

The Reading & Northern Passenger Office can be reached at 610-562-2102 with any questions or to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets will also be sold on a first-come, first-served basis on days of trips, according to the railroad.