A nostalgic look at the collaboration of local Virginia stores and railroads to create a short-lived but memorable Christmas tradition. Almost all the characters—corporate and personal—involved are gone now, but Deekens and Riddell trace the inception, growth, decline and demise of Santa Trains from their start in 1955 by Cox department store in Ashland, Virginia partnering with the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac (RF&P) Railroad. Then regional giant department store Miller & Rhoads ran with the idea, until the advent of Amtrak in 1971 killed special trains. A few recent attempts to continue the tradition are mentioned.
Well-documented, lovingly done, but needed a professional editing. Many chapters read like separate stories repeating previous information multiple times. Much speculation and reminiscing, but Continue reading