Family Travel 2012

Nichole Livengood



Take a train ride with Santa in Winnsboro

Posted 11/30/2012 11:05:00 AM

This holiday season, climb aboard the Santa North Pole Express at the South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro for a train ride with Santa Claus. It’s a memory your family won’t soon forget. Enjoy the hour-long train ride from a first class dining car, a passenger car, caboose with a real cupola or the newly restored open air car. 

Visit the official South Carolina Railroad Museum while you are there for a look at historic display cars including the Guinard brick flat car, several diesel engines and the Baldwin steam engine 44 which was recently used in an episode of the NBC science fiction show, Revolution. Take a walk through a 100-year-old Norfolk business car, a Southern Post Office car, a 1st class 1930s dining car, baggage car and little red caboose. The museum gallery is full of historical artifacts with everything from signals to photographs and even a scale model of the Rockton, Rion and Western Rail Line.

The train line runs 10 miles and was built as a spur line in the 1800s to bring quarried cut granite from the Anderson and Rion quarries to the main rail line. In 1983 the line was leased to the Railroad Museum, which restored the tracks and keeps them going through grant funding and memberships.

After your ride, stop by the station gift shop for T-shirts, train hats, whistles, pins, patches and other memorabilia and collectables. Train rides with Santa are available on Saturday Dec. 1, 8 and 15. Don’t forget your letters for Santa. He walks around the train spending time with each child during the ride. Walkup ticket sales are available or you may purchase tickets online here.

The train leaves the station at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. rain, sleet, snow or shine. Tickets are $12 for ages 13 and older; $9 for ages 2 to 12; $20 for first class tickets (all ages; includes a light snack). For more information call (803) 635-4242 or visit the South Carolina Railroad Museum website at The museum is located at 110 Industrial Park Road in Winnsboro.