Holiday Magic Train Will Light Up St. Louis This Holiday Season

Last year on Nextstop, we asked readers if they would like a holiday train in St. Louis, similar to the festive train that runs annually in Chicago.  The suggestion came from former Chicagoan and St. Louis blogger Jim Barnthouse. We received an overwhelmingly positive response, with many people sending emails, phone calls and social media posts in support of a holiday train for MetroLink.  We then updated readers with the promise of a holiday train in 2010. So…Little Drummer Boy drumroll please…

Metro is happy to announce our First-Ever Holiday Magic Express Nov. 26 – Dec. 31!

Thanks to the St. Louis Convention and Visitors’ Commission (CVC), the Holiday Magic Train will be decked out in lights, ornaments, garland and festive cheer for the holiday season as part of the CVC’s Winter Magic campaign.  The train will run from a.m. to p.m. rush hours weekdays and select weekend hours, alternating on the Red and Blue lines, as part of normal MetroLink service.

Holiday Magic Express Train Schedule

Mon – Fri Nov. 26 – Dec. 31    Start of service to ~ 6:30 p.m.
Mon, Wed, Fri – Red Line
Tues, Thurs – Blue Line

Saturdays ~ 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 & 18 – Blue Line
Dec. 11 & 25 – Red Line
Sunday, Dec. 5 ~ 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Blue Line

Friday, Dec. 24 & Dec. 31 will operate 10:00am-7:00pm. MetroLink will operate on a holiday schedule on those dates.

Rhythm & Rails On-Board Holiday Concert Series

Metro and 88.1 KDHX present Rhythm & Rails on the Holiday Magic Train, a live, on-train holiday concert series on Dec. 11 and 18 from approximately 2pm-4pm.  Riders, for the regular MetroLink fare, can enjoy the spirited sounds of St. Louis’ Rough Shop on Dec. 11 and Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three on Dec. 18. Concert riders will receive a commemorative holiday postcard from Sleepy Kitty Arts.

Fares and Rider Information

Regular MetroLink ticket or pass fare required to ride Holiday Magic Train. Children under 5 years old ride free!

Holiday Magic Dec. 3-5 at America’s Center

We also encourage riders to take the Holiday Magic Train to check out Holiday Magic at America’s Center at the Convention Center MetroLink Station Dec. 3-5.  In addition to shopping, carnival rides, and a skating rink, Holiday Magic includes a trackless train ride and of course, Santa!  At on Saturday and Sunday, the Holiday Magic Express will have live holiday piano music!

Dec. 4 & Dec. 5, live piano music will play on the Holiday Magic Express from 1:21 – 3:23 Saturday on the Red Line and 2:31 – 4:32 Sunday on the Blue Line.  See the Rhythm & Rails Concert Schedule for identical Holiday Magic Express boarding times.

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Special thanks to the CVC, KDHX, and all of our riders who expressed their support for a St. Louis holiday train.  We hope this is the start of a magical tradition for the St. Louis holiday season!

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  • RTBones

    Quick question for you, Courtney: from what I remember from Conversations Past, the holiday train is paid for out of a different budget line, i.e. not operations, correct?

    What I am getting at (and I dont mean to sound like a scrooge or a killjoy) is that if this means service gets reduced or impacted, I would much rather have a train running than I would fewer trains but one is decorated.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      The Holiday Train is regularly scheduled MetroLink service, the train car is just decorated. It will run on alternating lines each day. It will be pulled on and off for designated hours, but service will not be impacted. The decorations were donated by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission.

      • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

        That means, as an example, that if you typically catch the eastbound train from your station each morning, one day you might go to catch your train, and its the Holiday Train. It will be integrated into regular service.

  • RTBones

    Thank you for the info, Courtney!

  • nA

    Two thumbs up!!

    Thanks, Courtney. Something to cheer about this holiday season!

  • Patrick Richmond

    I already saw the light sculpture at the Big Bend station and it is really pretty!

  • DHampton

    Im glad Metro is starting something new. Has Metro ever thought about bring the Holiday bus back possibly next year? I remember my dad taking me on the Bus 7-9 years ago when i was a little boy and it was fun. I’m 15 now and Madison County Transit used to have 3 Santa buses running during Christmas time but for certain reasons, they eliminated it a few years ago. It was free if you were lucky enough to ride it, but due to some people who complained that the Santa Bus wasn’t given to them, it was discontinued. They just received some new buses and it would be nice to gussie a few up next year!!!

    -Another question I hope you don’t mind me asking, what train has been decorated(1000,2000,3000,4000)

    -Thank you much and Happy Holidays

  • Suzanne

    The 2 Light Rail Vehicles that are being decorated are 4008 and 4009. We hope everyone enjoys this extra special train experience this year!

  • Shylite4u2

    I rode the Holiday train this morning and it was very nice. I think everyone was in a better mood when they got on board. Maybe you should do one more so both lines, Red and Blue, can spread holiday cheer to your thousands of riders.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Glad you like it! It runs on the red line on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the Blue Line on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturdays are alternating. Thanks for riding!

  • Dennis

    I remember riding a metro bus about 10 years ago that was decorated with a fireplace in the back. Of course it was electric logs but very realistic looking with garland and ornaments across the mantle. It took up those 5 seats across the back. On my crowded #11 Chippewa I wouldnt want to loose those seats but I can see it working on other routes.

  • Tommye

    I got on the Holiday Express after work at N. Hanley Station the other day. What a lovely surprise! It was pretty and very festive. It also seemed to have a very positive effect on all the passengers. Just an added bonus. I really enjoyed it and hope I manage to catch it again! Thank you.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Glad you enjoyed it! There will be music by Pokey LaFarge on the Holiday Magic Express this weekend too, from 2:31 – 4:32 on the Blue Line, starting at Fairview Hgts heading westbound and back. It’s a lot of fun; it was a great time last Saturday with Rough Shop.

  • Patrick Richmond

    In addition to the Holiday Express train, don’t forget to stop at the City Museum and hear Christmas carols on the Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ. Al Haker and I worked last year to put Christmas carols into the organ’s computer.