Special Santa Train for kids battling illnesses

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CARSON CITY, Nev (KOLO) -- The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City has set the dates for its 33rd year of Santa Train, and for the second consecutive year, it will be offering special free Santa Trains exclusively for children battling cancer.

The public Santa Trains will be running the weekends of Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children and their families ride in rail cars pulled behind the historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad #25 steam locomotive. On their way around the museum’s track, Santa hands out candy canes to all the riders and listens to children’s Christmas wishes.

Inside the Wabuska Depot, youngsters can write letters to Santa or color pictures. Christmas music will be playing and parents can participate in a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses and individuals. Tickets are $5 for all riders. Children 2 and younger who sit in an adult’s lap are free.

Advance tickets are available online at http://bit.ly/2h9FoUV.

While the Santa Train has become a holiday tradition for many families, children battling cancer and other illnesses that have compromised their immune systems haven’t be able to participate. That changed last year with the first special Santa Trains and it proved to be so successful, museum officials are making it a tradition.

Before these rides, train cars are cleaned and sanitized. Once the children and their families take their seats, locomotive #25 steams into action. Along the way, Santa arrives with gifts for all the children.

The gifts were donated by Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery, Webster Wealth Management and John Hancock Investments.

The special trains are scheduled to run Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10. There are still seats available for children with compromised immune systems and their families and reservations can be made by contacting Rebecca Bevans, Friends of NSRM Events Committee Chair, at Rebecca.Bevans@yahoo.com.

The Santa Trains are run in partnership with the Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum. The Nevada State Railroad Museum is located at 2180 S. Carson Street in Carson City.