December 16, 2017 – It was a magical day for a few in the city of New Orleans as SP 745, the last surviving steam engine built in Louisiana, headed out onto the main line. Operated by the Louisiana Steam Train Association (LASTA), SP 745 had a special mission as Santa’s North Pole Steam Train.
Children and adults alike were enchanted with this one-time holiday experience as SP 745 steamed from the Fly (near Audubon Park) to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. Once there, passengers disembarked and enjoyed a festive holiday party with hot cocoa and cookies along with a special showing of everyone’s favorite Christmas movie, The Polar Express!
After the movie, SP 745 chugged her way to the foot of Canal Street to pick up that jolly old man himself, Santa Claus! As the special train headed back to the Fly, Santa handed out a special gift and invitation to all onboard to come to LASTA’s annual Christmas Party at the railyard the following day. Additionally, each ticket holder received a 2018 LASTA family membership at no charge.
The crew of SP 745 would like to extend special thanks to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and its employees who worked with LASTA to make this event a great success. And, a very special thank you to all the passengers for taking a holiday trip!
For more information on SP 745, LASTA and future events, please see www.lasta.org.