The miniature train wrapped in colored lights will run and Santa will be there, but all the tickets for seats on the trips around Belleview Park on the Englewood Holiday Express have been sold. The …
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The miniature train wrapped in colored lights will run and Santa will be there, but all the tickets for seats on the trips around Belleview Park on the Englewood Holiday Express have been sold.
The express will run four nights, Dec. 7 and 8 and Dec. 14 and 15. Each day the train will make the mile circuit of the park from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. The train can carry 30 to 40 passengers per trip.
The express is planned and organized by members of the Englewood Parks and Recreation Department.
“We will still hold the celebration with decorations in the park, a stand offering hot chocolate and s'mores and Santa greeting children,” said Lindsay Peterson, event administrator. “This is the second year for the Holiday Express and we were a little surprised by the response to buy tickets ahead of time. We quickly sold all 2,100 available tickets and this is the first year we have sold all available tickets. The train will run four nights this year, but because of this year's response we are talking about possibly adding extra dates last year.”
The Holiday Express trips began last year. To prepare for the event, the Belleview Park miniature train was decorated with colored lights. In addition the parks and recreation crews decorated many of the trees in the park, particularly those near the train tracks, with colored lights.
The miniature train that will be transformed into the Holiday Express has run in Englewood since the early 1960s. The train was originally located at Englewood City Park, located about where the Englewood Civic Center is now. When the park was sold for construction of the Cinderella City mall, the train was located to its present position at Belleview Park.
The train was originally owned and operated by the Englewood Lions Club. The club decided it could no longer keep the train going and turned it over the city.
The train was built to resemble an early steam locomotive. It is powered by a tractor engine.
The train annually operates from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Each year the train takes about 60,000 passengers for the one-mile circuit of Belleview Park. Passengers board the train at the depot. When all are checked and seated, the engineer calls “All Aboard” and the train begins its trip around the park. During the trip, the train rattles over a trestle and through a tunnel on the way back to the depot.
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