UPPER TOWNSHIP — Diane Swansen remembers taking the Cape May Railroad as a kid. On Saturday, she relived some of those memories.
Swansen and her daughter, Linda, took the Cape May Seashore Lines Santa Express. The Santa Express operates weekends between Tuckahoe and Richland until Christmas.
“Getting on the train brings back a lot of memories,” said Diane Swansen, 77, of Mullica. “I remember doing this as a kid, and my daughter and I decided to give it a shot.”
In its 21st season, the rail excursion takes passengers on the 45-minute ride over the river and through the woods while they listen to carols and enjoy the Christmas lights on decorated homes as the train trundles past the Atlantic County villages of Milmay and Dorothy at 25 mph.
The train cars feature a festive mix of lights, wreaths and poinsettias.
“This is hard work but a lot of fun,” said conductor Curt Hudson. “It’s Christmas, everyone is in a good mood.”
During the trip, Santa goes car to car to talk to children, pose for pictures and listen to their wish lists. Some passengers, no matter their age, wear Christmas-themed pajamas.
Barbara Krick, 35, of Mays Landing, said it was her first time on the train.
“We saw it and thought it would be something fun for the kids to do,” Krick said as she walked through the train cars.
Colquitt Krick, 10, said he was enjoying his first trip on the Santa Express.
“It was cool seeing the scenery,” Colquitt said as the trained stopped in the Tuckahoe Train Station.
Tickets for the Santa Express may be ordered at the-santa-express.com.