The CSX Santa Train made its 77th trip through Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 23.
In the predawn darkness, the train made its first stop in CSX’s Shelby Yard at Shelbiana on its way to Kingsport, Tennessee. Santa and his helpers on the train tossed gifts to the dozens of people who turned out. Still under the cover of darkness, the train eased into Marrowbone and Santa once again tossed gifts to those who came out.
Elkhorn City is the last stop in Kentucky for the Santa Train. Once the northern terminus of the former Clinchfield Railroad, the originators of the Santa Train and today a part of CSX, Elkhorn City hosts one of the largest crowds on Santa Train day. The rainy weather did not deter those hoping to catch the Santa Train.
For many, the event is a holiday tradition. The Elkhorn City Public Library also celebrates the Santa Train’s arrival with events of their own.
As the train moves south, it stops in several communities along the former Clinchfield route.
This year’s celebrity guest was country music legend Marty Stuart. He greeted spectators at many of the train’s stops.
The Santa Train is a joint venture of CSX, Food City, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors.