Durham kids on the train to the “North Pole”

Gloria Small with the Durham kids ready to board the train
Durham kids ready to board the train

Last Friday the Durham Community Action Group organized a trip to the “North Pole”. The group consisted of parents, grandparents and, of course, wide-eyed children, excited to visit Santa at his home at the North Pole.

Two buses left Ajax for the 40-minute drive to Uxbridge, Ontario, where they boarded the York Durham Heritage Railway for the 35-minute train ride to the North Pole.

Upon arrival at the York Durham Heritage Railway, the children were registered before boarding the train. The group of about 70 persons from the Durham region had two coaches to themselves, but what did they not know was that waiting for them in the coaches were two Christmas characters, Peppermint and Apple Bottom, who entertained the families with singing and dancing; then they announced that they had arrived at the North Pole.

There at the North Pole was none other than the big man himself – Santa Claus dressed in his red suit and sporting his signature beard. Jolly old St Nicholas waved to the

Durham kids on board the train
Durham kids ready to board the train

people as they arrived at his home.

The stop lasted about 5 minutes and, to the awe-struck children’s astonishment, Mrs. Claus made an appearance, singing and dancing, totally engaging the children. Afterwards, we took pictures with Santa’s better half.

Then she disappeared, leaving the entertainment to Peppermint and Apple Bottom for the rest of the journey. Then just before we prepared to return to the train station, we heard that familiar Ho, Ho, Ho! 

Santa Claus came into our coach and told the story of how the train saved Christmas one year when his reindeer came down with some sort of ailment. So he took the train to go around the world to deliver presents to all the children. Santa then took pictures with several of the children who were very excited to see him.

When we arrived back at the station you could see the pleasure in their eyes while Santa disappeared into the night.

At the station the kids received certificates that said that they had visited the North Pole. This they will keep as a memento of their exciting trip. But the excitement did not stop there; they were treated to an brilliant display of fireworks that lit up the night sky for about 15 minutes.

What an exciting day this was for the families on this very special train ride to the North Pole.

It was a great family excursion.