News

Caltrain 're-invents' holiday train

 

After raising fares and cutting service, Caltrain also recently announced that the Holiday Train of yesteryear is no more. But a scaled-down version will appear in time for Christmas.

The annual toy donation drive had its budget slashed from $38,000 to $12,000, said Caltrain spokesperson Tasha Bartholomew.

Last year the train collected approximately 4,400 toys for the Salvation Army and U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. "If we could get at least half that, that would be really good," Ms. Bartholomew said. "It's really hard for everyone this year."

Trying to preserve the holiday spirit as much as possible, the agency decided to reduce the number of stops the train makes from eight to four, and to skip the decorations this year. The train will stop in San Francisco and Redwood City on Dec. 4, and then visit Menlo Park and Sunnyvale on Dec. 5. Each stop will include music and appearances by Santa Claus.

Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Thomas, who leads the Marine Corps toy drive, isn't worried, and praised Caltrain's efforts to make the smaller event great despite the bad economy.

"Even the Marine Corps has ordered us as Toys For Tots coordinators to rein in spending money that hasn't come from donations. We all try to be good stewards of the tax money collected from the citizens, the USMC, and CalTrain alike, but I believe on a purely personal level that most taxpayers don't mind seeing their taxes spent in this fashion," he said.

All donations of unwrapped toys are welcome, according to Ms. Bartholomew, but the toy drive especially needs items appropriate for teenage girls.

"This would've been [the train's tenth year. If we're able to pull this off with the small budget we have, it'll be a miracle," Ms. Bartholomew said.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.

Comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

First Sunnyvale, then Australia: Mountain View's Le Plonc plots expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 2,388 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 27 comments | 1,830 views

Premarital and Couples: Living as Roommates?
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,362 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 546 views

A trial run
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 511 views

 

The Almanac Readers' Choice ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "The Almanac Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 27th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 17th issue of The Almanac.

VOTE HERE