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Train enthusiasts young and old will enjoy the special train events, museums and exhibits Virginia has to offer.
Central Virginia | Shenandoah Valley | Southern VirginiaNorthern Virginia | Coastal Virginia - Hampton RoadsCoastal Virginia - Eastern Shore
The Crewe Railroad Museum offers outdoor excitement with a diesel engine, caboose and stem engine. Inside you'll see trains of the steam era and more.
December 9, 2012 - The Santa Train from Ashland to Williamsburg and back is sponsored by Train Town Toy & Hobby. Riders depart early and spend the afternoon in Williamsburg before pulling back into the Ashland station at 7 p.m.
Through January 7, 2013 - The historic five-star Jefferson Hotel has combined two beloved Christmas traditions – gingerbread houses and trains – with their new creation, Santa’s Steam Engine. The train represents the historical holiday significance that the steam engine has held since 1830, when the first passenger train ran on Christmas Day. The massive gingerbread train weighs in at more than 1000 pounds of icing, candy, and of course, gingerbread.
January 5, 2013 - Bevells Hardware Store in Blackstone boasts a large model train decked out with realistic Christmas miniature villages and snow animations. The "Annual Running of the Trains" happens just once a year, bringing out train lovers big and small. If you think you've seen the tiny winter wonderland, you've seen only a portion. Each year the Daniels family adds new features, layouts and merriment.
Holidays - From Dillwyn the Santa Claus Train departs on one day for six 45-minute excursions. As the train rolls on, Santa mingles through the decorations and visits with the children on board, giving each one a treat as he goes. These tickets also sell out quickly. The event is typically held the first Saturday in December.
The Virginia Museum of Transportation is located in Roanoke. Visitors will climb aboard the steam locomotives and even enjoy active modern trains pass by. Inside the Museum visitors will find antique vehicles, gifts and the nearby O. Winston Link Museum - the largest collection of Link's black and white steam locomotive photography.
Clifton Forge is home to the C&O Railway Heritage Center. Visit the 1896 Freight Depot Visitor's Center to get started and then climb on the 1922 Gadsby's Tavern Dining Car and restored C&O cabooses. The kids will love the ride-on train, too.
In Waynesboro, train enthusiasts will find the Augusta County Railroad Museum and its four scales of layout - three operated by members and one operated by young visitors.
December 8-9, 15-16, 2012 - TooT Christmas Adventure is a fun time aboard the 1932 Gadsby's Tavern Dining Car at the C&O Railway Heritage Center in Clifton Forge. Area author Biff Downey will read his brand new, original Christmas story, "TooT!! The Toy Train that Saved Christmas" while you enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a gift from you-know-who.
Holidays - Santa Arrives By Rail is an event hosted by the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, bringing Santa in for an evening under the stars. Greet him as he steps off the train and spend time with him for ornament making, face painting, cookie decorating and more. The event is usually held the first Saturday of December.
The South Hill Railroad Museum is located in a restored historic depot in South Hill. The scale model Atlantic & Danville Model Railroad is the focal point of the museum, traversing a circa 1950 trek from Lawrenceville to Clarksville.
June 1, 2013 - Old Town Manassas takes center stage with the Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. Rides aboard the Virginia Railway Express, live performances and plenty of model train displays fill your day.
Holidays - Every year just before Christmas, kids and their parents are given the opportunity to ride a train and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, who are on board Virginia Railway Express trains to promote rail safety and Operation Lifesaver’s “Look, Listen and Live” campaign. Train stops at at Burke Station, Fredericksburg, Manassas and Woodbridge. Each train ride varies in length from 50 minutes to more than an hour. Tickets sell out at a record pace and are traditionally only $5-$6 per person, benefiting Operation Lifesaver.
The restored Main Street Station in Suffolk now serves as the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum. Visit and enjoy the two-room HO-scale model of Suffolk in 1907, as well as memorabilia. Regular children's story times are available with additional family-friendly events, too.
Little train lovers will appreciate a visit to the Children's Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth. One of the most popular exhibits is the Lancaster Antique Train and Toy Collection with its 814 trains on display and 610 square feet of track.
Norfolk Botanical Garden comes alive with lights and a most amazing train ride - The Polar Express! Hear a reading of the story while you enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie. It's a tradition and sells out quickly, so book fast. Offered Tuesdays through Thursday late November through mid-December.
The Eastern Shore Railway Museum in Parksley offers a 1927 Diplomat (parlor/lounge car), a 1949 caboose and a 1950 sleeper car for guided tours. Don't miss out on the unique memorabilia on hand that represents rail history on the Eastern Shore from the mid-1800s.
Order your Free 2013 Virginia Travel Guide.
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