Santa steam train visit canceled for this year

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Sadly, Santa will not be rolling into Vancouver on a steam train this year.

Due to a retirement and a mechanical issue, the BNSF-sponsored Santa Steam Train event will not be happening.

BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said he’s been breaking the bad news to numerous callers from elementary school teachers to retirees.

“Unfortunately this year, the person who coordinated it every year retired in the fall,” Melonas said.

“We did not put that responsibility to the new employee.”

On top of that, the SP&S 700 locomotive had a mechanical issue, Melonas said.

The event started as a holiday party for BNSF employees, but the sight of the steam train attracted crowds of people who watched the train come in. The railway opened the event to the public and now regularly attracts thousands, Melonas said.

“We apologize to children as well as adults who come out to see the SP&S 700,” Melonas said. “We hope we can bring this tradition back next year.”