Train of Lights

The Niles Canyon Railway will not offer its Train of Lights nighttime excursions this holiday season.

The Pacific Locomotive Association, the Sunol-based nonprofit organization that operates the railway as a living history museum, said this week that current restrictions and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic make it impossible to begin planning for the annual event.

"Typically, we would begin preparations for this event in late August, but unfortunately, we are unable to commit the necessary resources,” the group said. “Our concern is this signature event with current pandemic restrictions will not be everything people have come to expect.”

The railway is still planning for some rides aboard the steam-driven train through the Niles Canyon for this fall, with departures from Sunol and Fremont.

However, the nonprofit added that the nighttime holiday train rides are traditionally the group’s primary fundraiser for the year. It is urging members of the community to become members of the railway or make a financial contribution “to help us get through this challenging time and loss of our operating revenue.”

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