Digest: Date, locations announced for Santa Train gift distribution

News Wire Digest third section for Oct. 30: MBTA trains to bypass Salem, Mass., for Halloween; Japanese hotel offers railfan room with train simulator
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Still more Friday morning rail news:

Locations set for Santa Train gift distribution

Locations have been announced for the drive-up gift stations along the route of the CSX Santa Train, which have been organized in place of train operation along the former Clinchfield Railroad route. According to the Santa Train Facebook page, toys will be handed out Nov. 21 at Food City grocery stores in Pikeville, Ky., and St. Paul, Clintwood, and Weber City, Va. CSX announced earlier this year the train would not operate because of the COVID-19 pandemic [see “CSX Santa Train will not run this year,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 13, 2020].

MBTA trains to bypass Salem as part of Halloween crowd-control measures
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority trains will bypass the city of Salem, Mass., on Friday evening and most of Saturday as part of a stringent effort by the city to discourage visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. WBTS-TV reports the “Witch City,” normally a popular Halloween destination, has cancelled all scheduled events, plans fines for trick-or-treaters and partiers, will deploy police to direct visitors out of town, and plans curfews including the closure of all businesses by 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. As part of the effot, MBTA trains will not stop in Salem after 7 p.m. on Friday or 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Osaka, Japan, hotel offers rail-decor room including train simulator
This may be the ultimate hotel room for railfans. TimeOut Tokyo reports a hotel in Osaka, Japan, has a train-themed suite including an operating simulator, genuine train seats used as furniture, and other rail décor. The two-bedroom, two-bath rail suite Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka, next to Namba Station, also is decorated with builders plates and other signage from rail equipment, and one room has the same wallpaper as an airport express train. This won’t come cheap — the room rate starts at 39,000 yen, or about $373, although discounts are available.

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