Metro will do a holiday MetroLink train this year if there is enough public interest. It would run every Friday and Saturday in December. I am SO EXCITED about this! If I were still in St. Louis, I’d volunteer to be an elf!
The Chicago Transit Authority has a long-running tradition of running a Santa Express train every holiday season. The first time I encountered the Santa Express, I wasn’t expecting it. I was heading up the escalator at the Garfield Green Line station, and when I heard a train I started to run so that I wouldn’t miss it. But then, besides all the usual train clatter and roar, I heard… holiday music? Could that be holiday music? I ran even faster, and when I got to the top of the escalator I saw a green glowing El train all decked out in lights, with the words SEASON’S GREETINGS written in giant silver letters across its side.
OH MY GOD THE SANTA TRAIN. I ran aboard and sat down. It was a weekday afternoon on the South Side, so there were only a handful of other passengers. A CTA employee dressed as an elf came around and handed out candy canes, telling some of the more deliberately stoic passengers “Cmon, you know you want one.” She managed to get every single person on the train to smile.
The Santa Express is a pretty serious operation–it even features a car with Santa’s sleigh, and they ride outside in the Chicago winter. The train now features its own custom Christmas upholstery on its seats. It also has fake ads for Christmas related businesses where the regular ads normally go.
While the MetroLink holiday train wouldn’t be this big of a production (yet???), it would certainly be really cool nonetheless. I’d love to see that Santa train glee come to St. Louis.
A Metro holiday train would be a fun surprise for riders who didn’t know about it, and an entertaining outing for folks who’d heard about it in advance. Think of the joy of visiting Santa, with the glee of riding a train, minus the holiday mall insanity. And, of course, there’s nothing like a ridiculous themed celebration on public transit to enjoy and promote all the good things that can happen when you don’t have to drive. I can’t speak for the whole Prom Committee, but this MetroLink Prom organizer is overjoyed at the thought of Metro having their own sorta-parties on the train.
What can you do to bring a holiday train to St. Louis?
1. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you want the holiday train!
2. If you use Twitter, tweet using the hashtag #stlholidaytrain.
3. Spread the word! E-mail your friends, blog it, post it on facebook, encourage others to tweet about it…. You know what to do!