The Christmas train was back Dec. 16.
A tradition that began December 2022 saw enhancements. There were changes to the head end and caboose, including new ornaments.
“Every year should get better and better,” Diesel Shop Manager Pat McCarron said. He and General Foreman Nate Smith dedicated themselves to planning the Christmas train again. Machinist Ryan Dolatowski and Pipefitter Jeremy Maxedon implemented the plan.
For the first time, the Christmas train was taken on the main line so community members could view it. It made stops at crossings at Austin Avenue and Narragansett Avenue before reaching the Diesel Shop.
Santa (Assistant Superintendent Mechanical Robert Perham) and Mrs. Claus (Manager of Human Resources and Labor Relations Caitlin Kerney) were aboard, as well as the Grinch (Director of Safety Jason Charbonneau), an elf (Executive Assistant Cindy Homan) and President Percy Fields. They mingled with the crowd and distributed goodies at the stops, delighting several children as “Jingle Bells” was tooted on the locomotive’s horn. Locomotive Engineer Mike Holic operated the Christmas train and Dave Chmura acted as the conductor.
McCarron believes engaging the community was an opportunity to show the railroad in a positive light.