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Annual Santa Train returns this year with COVID-19 protocols in place

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Posted at 10:02 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 11:56:51-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's back! Returning from a COVID-19 pandemic hiatus, Santa Claus will once again be coming to town by train.

Children who live in communities in southern Indiana and eastern Illinois served by The Indiana Rail Company (INRD) will get a chance to see Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 3, 4, and 5. The Santa Train will make a dozen stops over the three busy days, and INRD is inviting families this holiday season to see the decorated train and Santa and Mrs. Claus, of course.

Due to the pandemic, COVID-19 protocols will be put in place this year, meaning the Santa Train schedule and format will be modified this year.

Santa's elves will arrive ahead of the train to prepare for Santa's arrival. Families are invited to come and watch Santa and Mrs. Claus come to town in style on the newly restored INRD caboose car and mail letters directly to Santa via the INRD Northpole Express Mailbox. The opportunity, however, to come aboard the train and visit with Santa will not be available this year as health, security, and safety for all is the first priority.

INRD requests that individuals who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within two weeks prior to the Santa Train, or who are experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or cold-or-flu-like symptoms, refrain from attending the Santa Train. Additionally, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in crowded, outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

"It's great that we are able to bring this tradition back," Dewayne Swindall, President, and CEO of The Indiana Rail Road Company said. "The Santa Train means as much to INRD employees as it does to the communities in which we operate."

The event is free and open to the public of all ages.