Record ChristmasTrain ridership benefits East Troy Food Pantry

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Staff | December 27, 2013

EAST TROY – The East Troy Electric Railroad hosted a record number of patrons during the three-weekend run of its annual Christmas Train, which translated into a donation of over 1,200 pounds of food to the East Troy Food Pantry to assist local families in need.

According to East Troy Electric Railroad officials, every train except one was sold out during the six-day event.  Total attendance was more than 1,600 children and adults, and guests were offered a $2 discount with a donation of a non-perishable food item. 

“Based upon the number of visitors we hosted during the holidays last year and to compensate for potential inclement weather, we decided to add one weekend to the Christmas Train schedule this season,” said Ryan Jonas, president of the East Troy Electric Railroad. 

“We're certainly glad we did as the only train that was not sold out ran during a nasty storm.  We are so pleased with the response, the opportunity to spread a bit of Christmas cheer and to have assisted the East Troy Food Pantry and the families the organization serves.”

A holiday tradition, the Christmas Train is comprised of restored Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad cars, originally built in 1927, for the 10-mile trip along the century-old interurban trolley line linking East Troy to Mukwonago. The heated Pullman cars are decorated for the event, which features caroling, story reading and a special visit by Santa, Mrs. Klaus and elves.

Joe Heinzman, vice-president of the East Troy Food Pantry, said the pantry serves about 30 percent more families during the Christmas season, so the additional donations were appreciated.

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