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Preparing for the annual Christmas (Santa) Trains is a lot of hard work. Starting the previous day we go in, clear snow from the switches and ice from the crossing flangeways then plow the line. Our "plow" is nothing more than a spare tie laid up against the locomotive's front frame member then chained to stay in place when reversing. Since the station at Fairy Lake, the far end of the line, is off the grid and unfortunately a prime target for vandals, we leave the decorating for the day of the event. We begin that day early in the afternoon with another plow run (hey, we get snow here, what can I say?) then begin the process of shipping decorations, generator, gas heater, snowblower and volunteers down the line. A few hours and runs later as it's just starting to get dark we are generally ready for the final pre-event run which is to take Santa down there. By this time we have got the train decorations all lit and checked as seen in this shot. Generally by the time we return here a lineup has already started to form well in advance of the advertised runs but since we now have everything ready to go we get right to it to try to keep the line-up manageable. This year an intimidating road conditions forecast kept the numbers relatively low, but not enough to keep right around 700 people from attending. One father I was chatting with between runs said he had come down from North Bay and would have driven twice as far to attend. I'm sure others came from even further afield, being a family tradition for many who have vacation properties or have moved down to the GTA for employment reasons. As always, a great time was had by all!
Copyright Notice: This image ©Wayne Shaw all rights reserved.



Caption: Preparing for the annual Christmas (Santa) Trains is a lot of hard work. Starting the previous day we go in, clear snow from the switches and ice from the crossing flangeways then plow the line. Our "plow" is nothing more than a spare tie laid up against the locomotive's front frame member then chained to stay in place when reversing. Since the station at Fairy Lake, the far end of the line, is off the grid and unfortunately a prime target for vandals, we leave the decorating for the day of the event. We begin that day early in the afternoon with another plow run (hey, we get snow here, what can I say?) then begin the process of shipping decorations, generator, gas heater, snowblower and volunteers down the line. A few hours and runs later as it's just starting to get dark we are generally ready for the final pre-event run which is to take Santa down there. By this time we have got the train decorations all lit and checked as seen in this shot. Generally by the time we return here a lineup has already started to form well in advance of the advertised runs but since we now have everything ready to go we get right to it to try to keep the line-up manageable. This year an intimidating road conditions forecast kept the numbers relatively low, but not enough to keep right around 700 people from attending. One father I was chatting with between runs said he had come down from North Bay and would have driven twice as far to attend. I'm sure others came from even further afield, being a family tradition for many who have vacation properties or have moved down to the GTA for employment reasons. As always, a great time was had by all!

Photographer:
Wayne Shaw [254] (more) (contact)
Date: 12/17/2016 (search)
Railway: Preservation (search)
Reporting Marks: HLBR 3 (search)
Train Symbol: Christmas Train (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Rotary Village Station (search)
City/Town: Huntsville (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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