KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Aug. 12, 2020) – CSX and the Santa Train partners today announced an alternative plan for this year’s event. Holiday gifts will be distributed at key Food City locations along the usual Santa Train route instead of from the traditional train. This decision was made after carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and reviewing the CDC’s recommendations for hosting events in 2020.
“The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, attendees and the community is always our top priority when we are planning the Santa Train. We decided it was in the best interests of all parties to rethink this year’s event amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX. “We worked closely with our partners and are pleased to be able to provide a safe alternative to the traditional Santa Train that will bring joy and lift spirits during this challenging time.”
This year, Team Santa Train will deliver Santa’s gifts to select Food City locations along the 110-mile route, where attendees can pick up gifts from their cars to minimize physical contact. Other aspects of the event, including contests and possible special guest appearances, will be moved to an online platform.
“We’ve seen firsthand how special the Santa Train is to this community, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue this event safely this year,” said Raymond Stockard, store manager of North Eastman Road Food City in Kingsport. “Our goal every year is to usher in the holiday season in Appalachia, and it’s now more important than ever that we honor that commitment for these families. All of us at Food City are proud to be a part of this wonderful tradition, and we are already looking forward to seeing everyone from select storefronts along the Santa Train route this fall.”
The Santa Train is sponsored by CSX, Food City, Appalachian Power, Soles4Souls and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.
“We would not be able to plan a reimagined Santa Train event without each sponsor’s input, encouragement and support,” said John Kitchens, corporate citizenship director at CSX. “We are especially grateful to Food City for offering their stores as this year’s ‘stops’ along the route.”
More information about the event and gift pickup locations will be announced on the Santa Train’s social media pages. Attendees along the route can follow @SantaTrain on Facebook for periodic updates.
For more information, please contact Kirsten Grenier, MP&F Strategic Communications, at (615) 259-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Santa Train:
Now in its 78th year, the Santa Train operates along a 110-mile route through Appalachia, making 14 stops in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee to distribute more than 15 tons of toys and other items to Appalachian families. The Santa Train is sponsored by CSX, Food City, Appalachian Power, Soles4Souls and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural and consumer products. For nearly 200 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 230 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/OfficialCSX), and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).