The Indiana Rail Road Co. (INRD) will again be hosting Santa and Mrs. Claus in 2022. Also, non-carrier Revolution Rail Holding Company, LLC has filed a verified notice of exemption to acquire from Saratoga and North Creek Railroad (SNCR) approximately 33 miles of rail line in New York.
The 500-mile INRD will run a Santa Train on Dec. 2-4, making 12 stops throughout southern and western Indiana and eastern Illinois (scroll down to view schedule). Guests will be invited aboard the stationary, bedecked passenger cars to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and be entertained by a full cast of costumed characters, brought to life by volunteers that include railroaders and their families, according to INRD, Railway Age’s 2012 and 2018 Regional Railroad of the Year. The event is free, and coats, hats, and gloves will be distributed to help children in need prepare for winter weather.
According to INRD, the Santa Train began in 1989 as an employee volunteer project. While it was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020, it was revived in modified form in 2021. “For 2022, the Santa Train returns to its full glory to enchant and spread cheer to the communities in which the railroad operates,” INRD reported.
“Giving back to the communities in which we operate in such a unique way brings a distinctive joy to our team during the holiday season,” INRD President and CEO Dewayne Swindall said.
Revolution Rail Holding Company, LLC (RRHC) has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.31 to acquire about 33 miles of rail line from SNCR, a heritage railway that began operations in July 2011 and ceased them in 2018. This includes approximately 29.71 miles of rail line between milepost NC 0.0 at North Creek, N.Y., and its terminus at milepost NC 29.71 near the former Tahawus Mine, as well as approximately 2.97 miles of passing tracks and siding, according to a Surface Transportation Board (STB) report in the Nov. 23 edition of the Federal Register (scroll down to download).
“RRHC states that it was the successful bidder in the March 2022 bankruptcy auction of SNCR’s assets and it subsequently entered into an Amended Asset Purchase Agreement (the Agreement) with the Plan Administrator to purchase those assets, including the Line. (Verified Notice 5, 8–9, Ex. B.),” STB reported. “RRHC further states that it is willing to assume the common carrier obligation and has partnered with SMS Rail Service, Inc. (SMS), a Class III rail carrier, to provide freight rail service on the Line if any service is requested in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 11101.2 (Id. at 8.)”
The transaction, STB wrote, may be consummated on or after Dec. 7, 2022, the effective date of the exemption. Additionally, “RRHC certifies that proposed transaction will not result in projected annual operating revenues exceeding $5 million and will not result in the creation of a Class I or Class II rail carrier,” STB reported.