Press Release - December 10, 2012

Cal Train and SVCF

Holiday Train Brings Spirit of the Season to Peninsula

The holiday season will be a little brighter for thousands of children thanks to the generosity of people who donated toys during the Caltrain Holiday Train, presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Dec. 1 and 2. 

The record-breaking storm passing through the Bay Area didn’t put a damper on the enthusiasm of the thousands of people who came to the train stations to see the glittering spectacle and donate a toy to a child. Nearly 3,000 toys collected at the event were donated to The Salvation Army and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program. Since the first Holiday Train in 2001, approximately 45,000 gifts have been distributed to needy Bay Area children.

The Holiday Train, a beloved holiday institution, returned to the Peninsula after a two-year hiatus, thanks to the generous support of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The Foundation provided a $50,000 seed grant to support the event, which generated more than $30,000 in donations from the community. In addition to corporate donations, the event also attracted individual donations from people in attendance.

Volunteer support is a hallmark of the community event. Working at the San Francisco rail yard at Sixth and Townsend streets, volunteers spent weeks decorating the train. Ambassadors at train stations helped pass out candy canes and programs. Local entertainers provided free entertainment at each station before the train arrived. Those people who volunteered to wear a holiday character costume were rewarded by the delighted response of the thousands of children who turned out for the event in spite of the passing storm. 

Thousands of children and adults came out to see the spectacularly lighted train, which visited eight train stations between San Francisco and Santa Clara over the weekend. Kids of all ages got a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and other holiday characters and enjoy music provided by the San Francisco Corps of the Salvation Army band and on-board choruses.

Community Support

The Holiday Train would not be possible without generous financial support for everything from decorations and wiring to costumes.

The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, Knight Foundation and Linear Technology Corporation are “Trainmaster” sponsors.  IDEO and Rinat are “Railway” sponsors. 

Media sponsors include Comcast, the Daily Journal, 94.5 KBAY in the South Bay and, in the North Bay, 96.5 KOIT, 102.9 KBLX, 98.5/102.1 KFOX and 95.7 THE GAME. 

Bayside Equipment Company of Redwood City donated the use of a generator to light up the decorations. Other in-kind sponsors include Jim’s Handyman Services, McCune Audio & Lighting, Peterson Technical Services, the Subway store located in the San Francisco Caltrain Station and Whole Foods Markets in Campbell, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Mateo.


About Caltrain:     
Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain serves 50,000 riders every weekday.

For more information on fares and schedules, call 1.800.660.4287 (TTY 650.508.6448) or visit “Like” Caltrain on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @Caltrain_News.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems. The community foundation has more than $2 billion in assets under management and more than 1,500 philanthropic funds. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world.  Find out more at