Details announced for northern Virginia's annual 'Santa Train'

File image of Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train that visits the U.S. Northeast and Midwest - not the train which will run in Virginia.
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The Virginia Railway Express has announced the details of this year's ever-popular 'Santa Train,' which will run on Dec. 14, 2019.

Every year, at some point in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the northern Virginia railroad company gives families the chance to ride a special themed train where they can meet Santa and friends.

Santa Claus's helpers promote rail safety and hand out candy canes and coloring books.

This year, there will be 14 total Santa Trains running on Saturday, December 14 from stations in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Manassas, Woodbridge, and Burke Centre.

You can find the VRE's full schedule for the day here.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. EST on November 25, the Monday before Thanksgiving, and they're sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Half of the tickets are sold online, while the other half are sold at ticket outlets for each departure location.

They cost $5 in-person or $6 online, and the VRE says the tickets usually sell out within just a few minutes. They recommend creating an account on their website ahead of time so that your checkout process come Nov. 25 can be speedy.

That's because adding tickets to your cart alone does not reserve them. Tickets are only subtracted from their inventory once the payment process is complete.

You can read their full message about the stipulations of ticket sales here.

If you plan to buy tickets in-person, some of the vendors have seen lines start forming as early as 3 a.m. on the morning of ticket sales before. The VRE doesn't encourage waiting in line through the early morning hours, but if you do, they ask you to plan accordingly and dress for the weather.

Regular VRE tickets are not honored for the Santa Train – you need one specifically for the event and all passengers need one. Tickets are not sold on the day-of and are not refundable or exchangeable.

Sales are also limited to 6 per person.

You can learn more on the VRE's About page.