Volunteers for the Santa Train, which benefits the Christmas Hamper Society in Maple Ridge, wave to departing West Coast Express riders on their way for a day in Vancouver. (THE NEWS/files)

West Coast Express Santa Train coming to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Free return ticket downtown Vancouver in exchange for donation for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society

Tis the season to celebrate Christmas with the West Coast Express Santa Train.

The West Coast Express is offering free return tickets to downtown Vancouver in exchange for a donation of an unwrapped toy, worth about the same as a WCE pass.

Donations will be given to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

RELATED: Loads of toys trucked in for Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows Christmas hampers

This years Santa Trains will be running on Dec. 7 and 14 .

Trains will depart Mission City at 10 a.m., and stop at all WCE stations along the way. Once in Vancouver, guests can enjoy a day of shopping along with holiday sights and sounds before returning home from Waterfront Station at 4 p.m.

A West Coast Express North Pole Station will open at 2:45 p.m. at Waterfront station with holiday activities for the family and a photo opportunity with Santa. And eggnog will be provided by Dairyland for the trip home.

Trains are scheduled to pick up riders at 10:19 a.m. at Port Haney station, 10:25 a.m. at Maple Meadows station and 10:29 at Pitt Meadows station on both days.

Riders can expect to be dropped off again at 4:44 p.m. at Pitt Meadows, 4:48 p.m. at Maple Meadows and 4:54 p.m. at Port Haney.

Around 700 families are supported by the West Coast Express toy drive each year.

Last year, West Coast Express had about 2,800 Santa Train participants, around 1,100 the first weekend and 1,700 the second, said Dan Mountain with TransLink.

In total, he said, around $1350 was collected and 3400 toys were donated,

Mountain added that participants who boarded the train at the Maple Meadows, Pitt Meadows, and Port Haney stations last year donated a total of 550 toys and $321.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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