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Metrolink's Holiday Toy Train 2006 11/18/2006

by Chris Guenzler

Metrolink is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Holiday Toy Express in 2006 with a bigger train, more decorations and a new show. This year's train is lit by 50,000 light. They are collecting toys for the California Firefighters' "Spark of Love" toy drive. This unique train travels to most of the Metrolink Stations in Southern California. So now join me as I go see it on the second night it is out in 2006.

I met Cliff Prather at the Santa Ana train station parking lot and after a few minutes, we were waiting on the platform for Metrolink train 658. After about ten minutes, we heard a horn and a minute later saw a headlight coming. Was this our train. No! It was the Metrolink Holiday Toy Train on its way to Tustin for the first show of the night. About four minutes after the Toy Train had zipped through Santa Ana, our Metrolink Train 658 arrived to take us to Tustin. It was a free Weekend Metrolink Service Day at Santa Ana so this morning I had picked up free tickets for us. We boarded the train for the six minute trip to Tustin where we would detrain. First we had to wait at CP Aliso for Metrolink train 860 to pass by before we crossover to the north track to reach Tustin. Once our train had left Tustin then the Metrolink Holiday Toy Train was exposed.

I walked off the end of the platform to get my first picture of this unique holiday train.

The decorations on the nose of engine 865.

Lights on the side of engine 865.

The lights on the Metrolink Coach.

The lights on the stage car and this year's show was with a Pirate theme.

The lights and displays on the flat car.

The lights on the Metrolink caboose.

The lit part of the train.

We have reached the end of the train with F-40PH 800 on that end. Since I had taken the pictures from the back of the train, I decided to walk through the tunnel to the parking lot side of the station to watch a little of the show.

A good size crowd had shown up at Tustin this evening.

Scenes of the show.

More of the crowd.

More views of the show. After that I went back to the north platform.

Surfliner 785 blasted through Tustin at track speed.

The Metrolink Holiday Toy Train was now ready to leave Tustin. All the blow ups had been deflated and all the gear was ready for their next show. Tonight they also did shows at San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo and lastly at Irvine. Cliff and I talked for a while before Metrolink 659 picked us up to return us to Santa Ana ending a short but interesting evening trip.