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 Post subject: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:03 pm
Posts: 7
We're rapidly approaching the Holiday Train season, and unfortunately the COVID cloud is still hovering over us.

Several tourist lines have started to sell tickets with great success, some are in limbo, and others have pulled the plug on 2020.

My questions for all operators is this:

How do we handle the personal interaction between Santa and the Children? I suspect this is no different than the thousands of Mall Santa visits.

Any feedback?

Good luck to everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
Seems to me that unless your operation is in an area where the virus is very much under control there won't be any Santa trains this Christmas season.

As we speak the only areas that might qualify are Vermont, NH and maybe Conn.

The way this virus keeps spiking the safe bet is that until there is a safe, proven, widely available vaccine tourist railroading will be on pause.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 452
Location: Danbury, CT
co614 wrote:
Seems to me that unless your operation is in an area where the virus is very much under control there won't be any Santa trains this Christmas season.

As we speak the only areas that might qualify are Vermont, NH and maybe Conn.

The way this virus keeps spiking the safe bet is that until there is a safe, proven, widely available vaccine tourist railroading will be on pause.

IMHO-Ross Rowland



I’d be surprised to see a Christmas train running in Connecticut this season. I hope I’m wrong.

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RMNE/NAUG


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1399
Location: Henderson Nevada
Being realistic, and responsible.... its not likely that we will have a Santa Train... We are a State (Nevada) facility, and need to follow the tightest interpretation of the rules... So masks... limited group size... No interpretation of the rules to our advantage.

Tonight our Governor rolled us back from phase two (groups of up to 50 with gaming) to phase 2-1... bars are closed... limited inside dining..gaming still an option... this in the summer when we were lead to believe the virus would die back... with an expected resurgence in winter...

So, we are doing long term planning thinking normal may come back in summer 2021...

Randy

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Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:04 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Tucson, Arizona
co2707 wrote:
We're rapidly approaching the Holiday Train season, and unfortunately the COVID cloud is still hovering over us.

Several tourist lines have started to sell tickets with great success, some are in limbo, and others have pulled the plug on 2020.

My questions for all operators is this:

How do we handle the personal interaction between Santa and the Children? I suspect this is no different than the thousands of Mall Santa visits.

Any feedback?

Good luck to everyone!


Easiest answer is no personal interaction. If you are able to have an event, Santa might need to make his appearance via video. New York Transit Museum is doing members only or ticketed on line events, so that might be a model to consider.

Bottom line is that COVID-19 is going to be with us for a while-maybe forever. While there is a lot of research going on regarding possible treatments, we have to bear in mind that it may be that the scientists cannot develop a safe vaccine. If it is possible to develop a vaccine, it may well take more than a year to create. The idea that we might have a vaccine by next year is extremely optimistic at the very least.

Simply put, 2020 is done for. 2021 might be a realistic possibility if people start taking COVID-19 seriously. It is quite possible that the states experiencing spikes will have to undergo a second economic shutdown. Arizona is now rolling back dining room occupancy in restaurants-governor just ordered restaurants to restrict dining room capacity to 50% of rated capacity. The closure of bars, gyms and other activities will probably be continued through the fall.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9767
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
If you are easily offended, move on somewhere else now..........




Don't say I didn't warn you...............











You sure?








According to more than a few Facebook cynics, this would be about the time to promote the idea that Santa died of COVID-19............. hey, think of the money you'd save..........

Look, I TOLD you..........


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:11 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 886
Location: New Franklin, OH
Well, maybe not that drastic. Ya don’t want to traumatize the little buggers. Maybe he’s self quarantining after Rudolph went bar hopping and didn’t social distance.

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Eric Schlentner
Orrville Railroad Heritage Society
Car Knocker, Gandy Dancer & Hog Jockey
https://orrvillerailroad.com


Last edited by jayrod on Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:28 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 160
Location: Massachusetts
Alan Walker wrote:
co2707 wrote:

Simply put, 2020 is done for. 2021 might be a realistic possibility if people start taking COVID-19 seriously. It is quite possible that the states experiencing spikes will have to undergo a second economic shutdown. Arizona is now rolling back dining room occupancy in restaurants-governor just ordered restaurants to restrict dining room capacity to 50% of rated capacity. The closure of bars, gyms and other activities will probably be continued through the fall.


One prominent health official recently said that if we could just get everybody to minimize social interaction and wear a mask for 3-4 weeks, we could seriously tamp this virus epidemic down to a point where some semblance of normality could return. But as we've all seen recently, we're apparently not all "in this together." Some folks think they have a "right" to walk into public spaces without social distancing and without wearing a mask. Perhaps they think they also have a right to walk into a public square and fire a handgun in random directions.

America's handling of this situation at the national level has been extremely disappointing. In the beginning, we really didn't know what we were dealing with, but we were fortunate that the really bad outbreaks were confined geographically, and the local Governors in the affected places (on both sides of the political spectrum) did a bang-up job of not only dealing with the crisis, but deliberately dragging their feet on the re-opening, following the original guidelines strictly. Unfortunately, many of the states that were less-affected initially, jumped the gun, didn't follow the rules, and the national leadership essentially did nothing to dissuade them from their policies. Some "leaders" actually encouraged this activity, and look what happened. It was like throwing a molotov cocktail into a dry forest.

Now, you're correct. Any chance we might have had to salvage part of 2020 has likely been lost. What ever happened to the national spirit that we had after 9/11?

/Kevin Madore


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:11 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 64
Quote:
What ever happened to the national spirit that we had after 9/11?


-Patriot Act shoved down our throats.
-Two oil wars (both still going)(one started on blatant lies).
-15+ years of do nothing politicians doing EXACTLY this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi4Z06IbSek
-Massive economic disparity.
-Race relations degrading back to the 1960's.
-Our leadership is literally a former game show host.

plus Toby Keith's just not that inspiring a singer any more.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:45 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 612
Location: Wall, NJ
Gosh, what a bunch of negative views here.

Yes, a classic Santa train is probably not going to happen. Its time to sit back and embrace the idea that what we have now is the new normal for some long period of time. Now is the time to re-invent the typical train based holiday event. Rather than Santa plowing his way through a packed car of screaming kids, why not look at a Christmas light ride as an alternative? Here in NJ a local out door theater puts on a light show that you drive your car through. The darn thing is very expensive, yet always packed. As you look at the usual Polar Express events, much of it takes place outside the train, along the ROW as you ride along. Expand on that idea. Maybe add open cars? Only use open window coaches? Cold? Yes, in some states anyway, but for a short ride and in these times, it might be quite welcome.

Bottom line? Get creative. Don’t cancel in total. Do the math, get some grant money, partner with the town or community. This is not the end of the world. It’s just a slightly different world.

J.R. May


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:04 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 125
Rail Events is still working to provide support for Polar Express Train Rides in 2020. Grand Canyon Railway is selling tickets with reduced capacity on it's trains, about 1/3 of normal.

As for Santa himself, we're still trying to figure that out. Give Santa a Mask that resembles a beard? Santa photos behind a plexiglass wall? Cardboard cutouts?

Eric


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Tucson, Arizona
hadder wrote:
Rail Events is still working to provide support for Polar Express Train Rides in 2020. Grand Canyon Railway is selling tickets with reduced capacity on it's trains, about 1/3 of normal.

As for Santa himself, we're still trying to figure that out. Give Santa a Mask that resembles a beard? Santa photos behind a plexiglass wall? Cardboard cutouts?

Eric


The reason GCR is offering tickets at discount prices is that they're desperate for ANY business.

Anyone thinking of coming to Arizona right now needs their head examined. Hospitals here are full up and the morgues are filling up quickly-our medical examiner's office in Pima County is allowing private funeral homes to store corpses at the county morgue as the funeral homes are running out of on site storage (our morgue has capacity for 150 corpses not counting the permanent residents and working cases). Our governor refuses to close non-essential businesses again despite the ongoing community spread.

Our museum won't be doing any Christmas events-the theater that we partner with to show The Polar Express announced last month that all 2020 events are cancelled. No restoration work until the numbers start falling either. We're working on a fund raising appeal and negotiations with the bank on the mortgage. Those things aside, 2020 is done for us.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 782
Maybe some Railroad museums could offer a drive through Christmas train experience?
Many railfans of all ages enjoy watching trains as much as riding them. Depending on how your property is set up, allow so many cars at a time the chance to watch some trains move, perhaps provide a Christmas story professionally narrated that family’s listen to on the car radio?

And after the trains stop, have an outdoor photo op where one family at a time stands in front of the locomotive... perhaps at a separate location Santa could be waving from a safe distance?


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1258
Here is a video posted on the NG board, demonstrating yesterday how D&S will try to deal with social distancing while operating PE trains: very long trains of cars at 30% capacity requiring two engines, which cannot be double-headed because of bridge weight limits. This apparently was the first time coal-fired steam has operated on D&S since February.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8azH_gn ... e=emb_logo

I hope these measures prove adequate.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Visits - How will your Railroad handle?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Word from TVRM is that they are adding cars and running at reduced capacity to meet local COVID-19 requirements.

Our museum at the Southern Pacific passenger depot has reopened, but won't be doing any Christmas events. Our main campus which closed in March remains closed to the public, though volunteers have been permitted to resume work.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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