November 12, 2013 > Ride into the holiday on Train of Lights
Ride into the holiday on Train of Lights
Clark Griswold (aka Chevy Chase) has nothing on the Niles Canyon Railway (NCRY) as they prepare to fire up thousands of holiday lights and set their annual "Train of Lights" chugging through the canyon. An immensely popular event, trains will depart from Niles and Sunol beginning Friday, November 29.
Operating since 1985, what began as a members-only jaunt has grown into a major fundraising event for the Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc., which operates the NCRY; "Train of Lights" providing 60 to 70 percent of the revenue used to maintain, restore, and keep the history of railroading alive.
The train is decorated inside and out and offers indoor or open air seating: General Seating, Reserved Dome Car, Reserved Holiday Club Lounge, and Caboose options. Forty seats are sold for the Dome Car, which offers a top-notch view of the canyon via observation dome, and where riders will enjoy snacks and the ability to move throughout the entire train during the trip. Reserve one of 50 seats in the Holiday Club Lounge and treat yourself to the comfort and style of a vintage 1940s parlor lounge car complete with lounge seating, heat, mahogany bar, and complimentary hot apple cider and cookies. The Caboose seats 24 adults and is only available for group charters at $600, no matter the number of riders.
General seating is already sold out for the 4:30 p.m. trains on December 7, 14, 15, and 22. Dome Car seating is available departing the Niles station on December 1, 4, 11, 28, and 29. The Caboose is available November 24, December 4, 6, 11, 18, 23, 27, 28, and 29 for 4:30 p.m. departures.
General seating on trains departing from Sunol at 7:30 p.m. are sold out on December 8 and 13, and the Dome Car is sold out December 7, 13, and 14. The Caboose is available for trips on December 11, 23, 28, and 29.
Traveling on one of the last links of the Transcontinental Railroad, NCRY takes passengers on a route virtually unchanged from 150 years ago. Although decorations change a bit from year to year, the beauty, fun, and excitement of "Train of Lights" remains the same every year. The train is already about 50 percent sold out on General Seating for both 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. trips, so if you want this festive ride to be part of your holiday season, don't delay!
Tickets are $25 for general seating and $40 for reserved seating. Children ages two and younger ride free if they sit on a parent's lap (except in Reserved Holiday Club Lounge). There will be three Bargain Wednesday Trains on December 4, 11, and 18 with all General Seating $17. Sometimes last minute tickets are available; check in at the station an hour before departure time or follow NCRY on Twitter @toots4ncry to find out about day-of availability. Boarding begins 30 minutes before departure and trains do leave on time. To make reservations or for more information, visit: www.ncry.org or call (510) 996-8420.
Train of Lights
Friday, Nov 29 - Sunday, Dec 29
37001 Mission Blvd., Fremont
6 Kilkare Rd., Sunol
Tickets: $25 general seating, $40 reserved seating