Every year since 1942, the CSX Corporation has run a special train from Shelby, KY to Kingsport, TN at the beginning of the holiday season. Known as The Santa Train, it makes stops in 14 different communities along the way, distributing gifts to less fortunate families in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.
In the early days, this train was all that many impoverished Appalachian families had to look forward to for Christmas cheer, and folks still line the route for a chance to visit with Santa at each stop.
CSX also brings along popular figures in the music world to meet the kids, and this year bluegrass/country superstar Ricky Skaggs will be riding the train. He be on board for the full journey on Saturday, November 18, with a performance scheduled for when the Santa Train pulls in to Kingsport that afternoon.
Tori Kaplan, Vice President of Communications and Field Support for CSX, says they are delighted to have the Kentucky native with them this year.
“We are so excited to have an icon like Ricky Skaggs join us on this year’s Santa Train. This year’s train marks 75 years of giving back to the families of Appalachia, and we couldn’t have picked a better partner and representative of Appalachia than Ricky.”
Folks along the route can find stop times for the 18th from local CSX offices.
Ricky is ready to go!
“So excited to get to do the Santa Train this year… it’s a beautiful thing. I love the children of Appalachia and I love Christmas, so it’s gonna be a great thing for my heart. Can’t wait!”
But will he wear a Santa cap?