Top 5 Things to Know about the Holiday Train

Santa Visiting at the Holiday Train

Decorated with thousands of lights, the Caltrain Holiday Train, presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, will roll from San Francisco to the South Bay this Saturday and Sunday evenings, Dec. 2-3. It’s a free event that promises holiday cheer for all ages. The Holiday Train has been a community tradition for 15 years, and SVCF has partnered with Caltrain since 2012 to provide support for this festive, family-oriented celebration.

To get the seasonal spirit going, here are SVCF’s Top 5 Things to Know about the Holiday Train:

  1. It’s free!
    There’s no admission fee of any kind. Visitors gather on the Caltrain station platforms to see the lighted train arrive and greet Santa and his friends as they get off the train to hand out candy canes and meet the crowd. There’s music at most stations before the train arrives – and once it does, you’ll hear carols and might even get caught in some snow flurries.
  2. Santa and friends ride the train – sorry, no passengers.
    The Holiday Train does not carry passengers – it’s a show train only, reserved just for Santa, Mrs. Claus and their friends, who entertain the crowd and keep the train running safely.
  3. Holiday Train visits multiple stations each night.
    On Saturday evening, Holiday Train makes 20-minute stops in San Francisco, Burlingame, Redwood City, Mountain View and Santa Clara. On Sunday, the train makes stops in San Francisco, Millbrae, San Mateo, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale. For the complete schedule, visit Choose a station that’s convenient for you. We recommend arriving well ahead of the scheduled train arrival time so you can get positioned to see Santa and friends.
  4. You can help others when you visit.
    The Holiday Train Toy Drive is an important part of the event each year. Caltrain partners with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and the Salvation Army’s Season of Giving program to help make the season brighter for families struggling to make ends meet. Since the inception of the Holiday Train, generous Bay Area residents have brought more than 50,000 toys to Caltrain stations! Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate, or find one of SVCF’s staff if you’d like to make a cash donation to support the Holiday Train. You can also donate online to support the Holiday Train tradition.
  5. Holiday cheer guaranteed.
    OK, there may be some die-hard Scrooges out there. But over the years we’ve observed that Holiday Train visitors feel the community spirit of the season and the wonder of the holidays when they see the beautifully lighted train, hear the music, and see the faces of the kids who are meeting Santa. Bring your family and friends and see for yourself!

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