by Mike Roque
The Tuch wrote: <img src="http://www.railroad.net/articles/column ... a/tuch.jpg" align="right">Greetings all.
Listed below is the schedule for the Canadian National Chicago and Gilman Subdivision 2007 Santa Train and its 37th annual operation. While the times listed are strived to be achieved, they are dictated by the crowds at each stop and. of course, freight and passenger train traffic. We do not leave any stop until all of the kids waiting have had the chance to see Santa. Thus, we may be late in arrivals and departures. As they say, "It isn't carved in stone."
For those of you making the trip this year, please remember that we are operating on a live, working railroad. We ask you to dress appropriately for the weather and the walking conditions. Sandals, open toed shoes and high heeled shoes are not recommended for footwear.
In pretty much all of the communities we visit, there are no indoor facilities in which to wait for the train and being that this will be wintertime, it will very likely be cold outside. We also ask that you respect the property and those around you as well. Canadian National and their predecessor Illinois Central have been very accommodating over the past 36 years with regards to the train and those coming out to visit. We ask that you please refrain from any activities that may compromise your safety, that of the Santa Train crew and its volunteer staff as well as the regular rail operations of the Canadian National Railway.
The communities of Gibson City, Melvin, Roberts and Thawville are all along Illinois Route 54 and this road parallels the railroad pretty much the entire route, so there are plenty of photo locations along the way. You can reach Rt 54 from I-57. There is an exit for Rt 54 several miles south of Gilman. US Route 45 runs directly through Onarga, Danforth, Ashkum, Clifton, Chebanse and Kankakee so there is easy access to these communities as well and again, 45 parallels the railroad for a good portion of the way providing plenty of photo opportunities. There is also access to Ashkum (IL Rt 116), Clifton, Chebanse and Kankakee (Court Street, IL Rt 17) from I-57 as well.
Gilman is also accessible from I-57 at the US Route 24 exit. The train parks behind the depot in Gilman just west of downtown on 2nd Street.
So come on out and see us. If you have no small children to bring, that is okay too. You are still welcome to come by, say hello and take a few photographs.
City Arrival Departure
Gibson City 8:30 AM 10:30 AM
Melvin 11:00 AM 12:00 PM
Roberts 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
Thawville 2:00 PM 3:00 PM
Onarga 3:45 PM 5:30 PM
Gilman 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Danforth 8:00 AM 9:00 AM
Ashkum 9:30 AM 11:00 AM
Clifton 11:30 PM 1:00 PM
Chebanse 1:30 PM 3:00 PM
Kankakee 4:00 PM 6:00 PM