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Experience the magic of a brightly decorated holiday train, covered with thousands of lights, as it winds through Niles Canyon on a 75-minute round-trip ride either from Fremont to Sunol or from Sunol to Fremont and return.  There is a twilight train and an evening train.  Tickets are $25 for anyone 3 years old and up, and are available for purchase online.

The trains start running on the Friday after Thanksgiving and run through December 27th.  This train ride is a holiday tradition for many families.  I’ve compiled a a few tips will make this more enjoyable for you and your small children.

1. If you have a large group, arrive 1 hour early to pick up your tickets and get in line to get seats together.  Or, if the weather isn’t great, arrive early to get a seat in one of the indoor cars, as there are indoor and outdoor cars and no guarantee of an indoor seat.

2. Pack some kid friendly healthy snacks and hot drinks.  They do sell the cookies and chips along with some drinks, but if you have your family on a healthier diet, bring your own snacks.

3. Bring some games or coloring books. Including the wait in line and waiting for the entire train to board and deboard plus the actual 75 minute ride, it can be a 3 hour excursion.  So depending on the age of the child,  you’ll need to ready to entertain them with games.

4. Santa is aboard the train but please be patient and stay in your seat – he will come to you! The families that jump up to bring their kids to Santa just delay things, and trust me -every child gets a chance to say hi to Santa and get a candy cane.

Follow these easy tips and make the Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights a holiday tradition with your family!

This annual fundraising event is presented by the Pacific Locomotive Association to benefit Niles Canyon Railway projects throughout the year. For more information on the train and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.ncry.org/tol_09.htm

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