Christmas train returning to Batesville
By John Howell
The Christmas train is coming back to Batesville this year, only it won’t be called the Polar Express, it will be The Train to Christmas Town.
Iowa Pacific Railroad owner Ed Ellis announced the change during Tuesday’s meeting of Batesville’s mayor and board of aldermen. Other than the name change, previous riders will see little difference from the highly successful 2015 and 2016 Christmas season train rides that brought thousands of visitors to Batesville from mid-November through Christmas.
Passengers will board the Iowa Pacific’s vintage passenger cars and sing along with the peppy theme song, “Takin’ the Train to Christmas Town” as they rock to the rhythm of the rails. Elves will dance in the aisles singing favorite holiday songs. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served along the way, according to the web site, www.grenadarail.com.
When the train arrives at Christmas Town Santa and his elves will board the train for the return trip, greeting each boy and girl with a special gift.
“All our guests will enjoy other activities and games on board as they interact with the cast and crew,” the web site states. “Kids will be able to play a game of I-Spy as they look for animal friends hidden throughout the car like the gentle snowy owls and Bubble and Squeek, the chatty mice that frequent the train. We’ll be singing our theme song as we pull back into the station and we promise you’ll still have this tune on your mind all the way home!”
The first rehearsal train ride scheduled for Wednesday, November 15 for invited state and local elected officials and guests. Ticketed rides will begin the following day and continue through Dec. 27, according to Ellis.