Christmas Trains

Christmas trains blend railroad nostalgia with holiday experience

In Ohio and across the country, tourism railways are converting their steam- or diesel-powered trains to Christmas-themed transportation for a growing number of passengers. Excursions in southwest Ohio, California, North Carolina and elsewhere wrap up the holiday spirit with cookies and hot chocolate, "North Pole" stops, visits from Santa and, in some cases, pajama-clad children a la "The Polar Express." Fifty-eight-year-old Connie Davis of Foster, Kentucky recently took the season's first run of Santa's North Pole Express in Lebanon with about 20 family members at the request of her father, who worked on a railroad. She says it's a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.