Santa and his helpers, Camryn Blake and Zahara Oosthuyzen, join conductor Hugh Grist for a photo prior to the departure Saturday of the popular Santa Train, a seasonal program of Alberni Pacific Railway for the past 30 years. All seats sold out early for a total of 10 trips over the weekend although they were able to accommodate late arrivals. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Port Alberni’s Santa Train breaks attendance record

All 10 runs sold out Dec. 8-9

The Alberni Pacific Railway’s 34th annual Santa Train broke attendance records in 2018 with 1,792 passengers visiting with Santa Claus while riding the train to Kitsuksis Trestle and back.

Members of the Industrial Heritage Society and the railroad ran five runs on each of Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9.

“We had some big numbers this weekend. On Saturday 880 happy passengers rode the train,” Ken Rutherford said. “On Sunday we had even more, with 912 passengers on the train (for a) total of 1792 passengers, which is new all-time record!

“The hot chocolate sales have not been totalled yet but I’m sure we did well.”

More than 40 volunteers helped make the Santa Train happen, from the decorating crew to the train prep and ride crews, Santa and helpers, ticket sellers, cookie makers, Sally Anderson with her flags along the route, and Linda and family on the bubble machine.

 

Santa waves to a young passenger prior to boarding the annual Santa Train at the Port Alberni Train Station on Saturday, Dec. 8. The diesel locomotive replaced Rudolph and his fellow reindeer for this run. The two-day Santa Train set a record with 1,792 passengers. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Just Posted

Maquinna Elementary wins SD70 school track meet

Neill School finished second, and Wickaninnish Elementary from Tofino finished third

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ indigenous educator tells court in case of smudging at Port Alberni school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo, case continues Wednesday

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Port Alberni man arrested after armed liquor store robbery

Suspect brandished a weapon at King Edward Liquor Store

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Salvation Army kettle campaign targets $200,000 for Island residents in need

Goal is to raise $250,000 this year for Vancouver Island residents needing support

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Most Read