Santa Ditches Sleigh, Rides Train Through Lackawanna County

CARBONDALE -- As the wheels slowly churned down the tracks, the smiles grew even wider and the eyes became bigger.

The Baldwin Locomotive Works train carrying Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and their helpers, made stops across Lackawanna County on Saturday.

On board were some happy first-time riders.

"I'm very excited to ride the Santa Train. I never rode it before," said Joel Wasilchak of Carbondale.

Faces full of glee lined the Pioneer City Station in Carbondale as hundreds stood patiently, waiting to give Santa their lists.
Kids enjoyed the time out being with their families and friends.

"Every year you get to come down here and see Santa coming on the train, it's really fun," said Kaylee Padgett of Carbondale." You get to see Santa come down on the train."

After starting in Carbondale, the Santa Train made six different stops using tons of coal. As the Steamtown National Historic Site's train rolled, kids could not contain themselves. Organizers say this 20-year tradition aims to bring communities together.

"It kind of celebrates the heritage. Trains were always a part of this region, so of course, the people love the steam engines," said Tom McHugh, Santa Train coordinator of Lackawanna Heritage Valley.

At the Jessup stop, after meeting and greeting all of his fans, even Santa was on the receiving end of some well-wishing.

"I told him it's my mom's birthday today and told him Merry Christmas," said Kaia Negvesky of Jessup.

Santa Claus is going to need all the positive vibes he can get to make Christmas happen for kids around the globe.