JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
The Military Railway Society put on Operation Sgt. Santa at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Dec. 11-12, 2021.
The Military Railway Society, a nonprofit group dedicated to the preservation of historic military locomotives and rolling stock, aimed to bring the Santa train ride tradition last held in 1978, back to the JBLE community.
The train made a total of 22 trips, giving approximately 2,200 people a ride along with “Sgt. Santa” himself.
DoD ID cardholders rode in the 40-seat first class “Pacific Trail” passenger car, the 38-seat “Overland Trail” lounge car and one of the oldest operating luxury rail cars in the fleet, the “Presidential 118 Navy Car.” These were hauled by the U.S. Air Force 1663, 80-Ton Locomotive, which is still used for daily rail work at JBLE-Eustis.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service offered free barber services aboard the “Overland Trail,” the last operating barber shop rail car in the entire United States.
Thanks to the community’s support this year; plans for an improved Operation Sgt. Santa are under way for the 2022 holiday season.