Railroads, Toys for Tots come together to deliver holidays across NY Capital Region

Towns across New York’s Capital Region got a special visit from Santa Clause Saturday, December 2nd. Instead of a sleigh, though, a special holiday train took to Norfolk Southern’s tracks, put together by Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and railcar owners John Webb III and Bennett Levin to deliver toys from Capital Region Toys for Tots and Dunkin’.

Returning for the first time since 2018, this special holiday train carried Santa and 136 volunteers, delivering more than 21,000 gifts and 11,000 stocking stuffers across five stops.

“When you get off this train, and you see the faces not just of the kids but of the adults, if we weren’t in the Christmas spirit before we got here, we sure are now,” said Stacey Mansfield, Director Community Affairs for Norfolk Southern. “It’s really hard to think of a better team. Amtrak moves people, Norfolk Southern moves freight and together we move the country.”

“Having the train back is amazing,” said USMC (retired) Gysgt Roman Jr. Albert. “It’s about getting a message out to the community that there are people out there that care about them. This train represents hope, this train represents community. This is why it’s so important.”

In addition to the thousands of toys, other winter essentials were delivered through the partnership with Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, Capital Region Toys for Tots, John Webb III and Bennett Levin, and Dunkin’:

  • 500 handmade fleece blankets
  • 500 pairs of handmade mittens, scarves, and hats
  • 15,000 new coats

“The holidays are a special time for us at Amtrak, and we are delighted to participate in the 2023 Capital Region Toys for Tots Holiday Train,” said Jason Abrams, Senior Public Relations Manager for Amtrak. “ We are honored to join our railroad partner, Norfolk Southern, in support of this important program and thank the New York State Department of Transportation for their overall partnership that supports Amtrak’s many services across the Empire State. We are also grateful to all the dedicated volunteers who go above and beyond to make Toys for Tots a great success and to the Levin Family and Webb Rail for providing their beautiful and historic railroad equipment for this trip.”

Norfolk Southern is also contributing $95,000 to eight toys for tots organizations across our footprint this holiday season.

Watch more from the event here: