by Chris Guenzler
Every Holiday Season Metrolink, our excellent Southern California Commuter Train operator, runs the "Metrolink Holiday Toy Train Express - Christmas Train" to almost all of the stations on the lines they serve. A different program is presented every year and toys are collected for the Spark of Life Toy Drive. The train is scheduled and runs on the nights except if it is raining then those dates are rescheduled. So now sit back and enjoy the view of over 30,000 lights on the 2001 version of the Metrolink Holiday Toy Train Express at Irvine, Ca on December 13th of that year.
I had taken Amtrak 784 to Irvine the night of the train's stop there to get some pictures of this very special Metrolink Train. Before the Toy Express Train could pull into Irvine, Metrolink Train for Oceanside 606 came into the station to do its work.
The train which was sitting south of the station then pulled into Irvine. Everyone was on the other platform where the program was leaving me to myself on the normal northbound platform to do all my photography on that night. Here we see the Metrolink engine decorated up.
A Metrolink coach is nicely decorated in the holiday spirit.
The Stage Car displays many types of Christmas lights.
The Stage with the program taking place and the unique clocks are found on the stage supports.
Another view of the Stage Car.
The Display Car nicely light up with Holiday Lights.
Metrolink's Caboose bought up the rear of this Holiday Express Toy Train of 2001. I boarded Amtrak 586 to Solana Beach that night before returning to Santa Ana on Amtrak 591.