“In 1959 the first ‘Santa Claus Special’ ran out from Wilmington, with tickets priced at only 50 cents and sponsored by the Wilmington Merchants Association. The Atlantic Coast Line News reported that 2,600 passengers from around southeastern North Carolina boarded for a fun-filled excursion, requiring five runs to the ‘North Pole’ and back. Popular demand brought the ‘Santa Claus Train’ back for several years, providing lasting holiday memories for children who rode.
“Like many other railroads, the ACL more frequently ran chartered ‘specials’ out of major stations, essentially restricted cars populated by sports boosters and athletes, civic clubs, or trade associations, and added on to regular passenger runs.”
Date posted: June 24, 2011
User-contributed question by:
Amy Lou Powell Ottaway