The end of the line for this year’s Santa Express

January 8, 2014   ·   0 Comments

The Annual Santa Express, run by the community-based South Simcoe Railway, took place on the weekends leading up to Christmas (December 7/8, 14/15 and 21/22), with the regular season running on weekends from Victoria Day to the weekend after Thanksgiving. Again this year, the Santa Express was a hit with locals and tourists. This great country of ours was built upon the railroads. Great huffing steam engines once carried goods and people across the continent and up to all the small towns. In the 1960’s people turned away from train travel, lured by the speed of jet transport.

Today Via Rail Canada operates a national rail service – still the better way from Toronto to Ottawa or Montreal –

but it’s nothing like the coverage we used to have. Many smaller centres across the country are no longer served by passenger rail at all. Here in Simcoe County a small group of rail fans tries to “keep the steam alive” – preserving the memory of the days when trains ruled transportation. The South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corporation is a volunteer organization, so donations of money and time are always welcome! The historical coaches and locomotives need a lot of maintenance,  and staff are needed to sell tickets, guide people, and much more. Please help keep this valuable museum in operation so today’s children, and future generations, can experience what it was like to travel by rail in the days when steam was king. For more information visit or call 905 936-5815 weekday afternoons. Pictured: South Simcoe Railway President Eric “Smitty” Smith (and the Man in Red himself) present Our Town Food Bank representatives Helen Mabee and Pauline Apperly with a cheque from the South Simcoe Railway on the last weekend of the Santa Express Train for 2013. More pictures online at:

Photo by Ian Darwin


Passengers young and old rode in restored vintage coaches through a snowy wonderland, from Tottenham to Beeton and back, over track that was once part of a rail line stretching from Hamilton
to Barrie and Collingwood.

Neil Wilson gives young Jacob a lift to the train.

Neil Wilson gives young Jacob a lift to the train.

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