NJ Transit takes 300 kids for a special holiday ride with Santa, complete with presents and treats

Crystal Cranmore Image
Friday, December 1, 2023
Kids take special holiday ride with Santa aboard NJ Transit
Crystal Cranmore has more on the holiday train ride.

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- As December begins, holiday cheer is quickly spreading across the Tri-State and Santa even traded in his sleigh on Friday morning for a New Jersey Transit train.

It was the annual "Railmen for Children" ride with Santa, and it was all for a great cause as more than 300 less fortunate children, many who have special needs, boarded the train at Hoboken Terminal.

The students rode NJ Transit's Montclair-Boonton line to follow Santa to Dover and back -- complete with treats, festive decoration and presents.

"They supply us with wish lists and we buy their present...Santa delivers them," said President of Railmen for Children David Decker.

Railmen For Children is an organization of train conductors and engineers that has sponsored the magical event for more than 40 years through annual fundraisers and charitable events.

A founding member of the nonprofit said he never misses the opportunity to give the students a day of holiday cheer.

"I've been retired 27 years but I come back to see the train car," retired conductor Joe Phalon said.

RELATED: Winter festivities across the Tri-State area to celebrate the holiday season


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