“Hot cocoa mugs went flying”

Published 6:51 pm Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Train to Christmas Town is listing to the west, but definitely still upright after this afternoon’s derailment at approximately 5:15 p.m.


Rev. Joe May and his wife were passengers in the next to the last rail car on The Train to Christmas Town this evening when the derailment happened. Although not confirmed, we are hearing that approximately 225 passengers were on board.

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“It was scary as our car tipped to the right and all the hot cocoa mugs went flying off the tables,” Rev. May said. “To my knowledge no one was injured.”

May praised the operators of the train and the staff aboard for their attention to the passengers. He said everyone was checked on quickly and the train employees tried to make everyone feel comfortable.

May said the response of local police and deputies was awesome, and everyone felt safe when they arrived.

We believe that the last four rail cars were the ones that came off the tracks, causing the train to list, but not turn over. The wheels of the train were left resting on the cross ties, but definitely off their rails.

Ironically, officials from the rail company, the rail authority, and local leaders were already scheduled to meet in Batesville Friday morning at 9 a.m. to discuss the future of the train and the possibility of adding other small excursion trips in the future.

The Panolian will continue to follow this story, and update the website when there are further developments.