There’s still time to enjoy the North Pole Limited train ride at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum (PSRM) in Campo, about an hour east of San Diego.
The fun begins at the lighted Campo Depot. Pick up your tickets from the Ticket Agent in the restored passenger waiting room. They recommend you plan on arriving at the Campo Depot at least 45 minutes before your train departs to allow ample time to park, get your tickets, and pass through the gift shop. Don’t forget to stop by the Hobo Camp next to the Depot to hear tales from railroading’s past.
Passengers will enjoy the North Pole Limited from one of PSRM’s restored 1920s vintage commuter cars. Once onboard the North Pole Limited, Santa’s elves will sing favorite Christmas carols, read a popular Christmas story to all the young ones, and pass out cookies and hot chocolate to all passengers. The North Pole Limited will stop at Santa’s Workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus who will visit with all passengers on the train on the way back to the Campo Depot.
Tickets start at $10, and as of this posting are still available for the following runs: Friday, 12/21 (5:00pm and 8:00pm) and Saturday, 12/22 (7:00pm). This is an incredibly fun ride for kids and adults alike, with great views of the San Diego back country. For tickets and more info, click here.
If you can’t make it this time, come another time for the standard Golden State Tour, or other special events including the Bunny Train or Pumpkin Express. Also on offer are locomotive cab rides and the “Engineer for an Hour” program. Check out the Train Rides menu on the website for more info.
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the facilities. PSRM has over 120 pieces of equipment and artifacts including steam and diesel locomotives, restored passenger cars, cabooses, and hand cars.
The Southwest Railway Library, housed at PSRM and open by appointment only, houses one of the most extensive collections of railroad-related documents (over 10,000 volumes and hundreds of boxes!). This includes maps, blueprints, historic photographs, and company records for the San Diego & Arizona (Eastern) Railway and the San Diego Electric Railway.
The PSRM and the Southwest Railway Library are staffed entirely by volunteers, who were extremely helpful when researching my book on the history of the San Diego trolleys.
2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway, and PSRM will be hosting many special events throughout the year ahead of the November 16, 2019, SD&A Centennial Day. For more info click this link.
All the photographs in this post are from a recent trip I took with my girlfriend and her young son on PSRM’s Golden State Tour.