The Arrival of The First Santa Train

Santa’s Special Railroad Car pulled into town on November 26, 1943, marking the first Santa Train excursion. The night before, a delegation of Kingsport merchants, staff writers and photographers from the Kingsport Times News joined Mr. Phetteplace, general manager of the Clinchfield Railroad Company, in Kingsport to journey to Elkhorn City, Kentucky. It was from there that the delegation met up with Santa Claus and escorted him to Kingsport on the specially-designed railroad car for the occasion. The railroad offered special round-trip fares for the day for people to ride the train with Santa and come to Kingsport to do their Christmas shopping. Santa requested that children along the Clinchfield Railroad that could not come to Kingsport be sure to be at their respective railroad stations so Santa could talk with them. Do you celebrate the Santa Train tradition?