All aboard for the Candy Cane Express

It wasn’t the last run of the year… yet.

By Brad Mosher

But as conductor Wendell Alverson helped people climb aboard the Candy Cane Express Saturday in Garibaldi, he made a point of telling the passengers that there would be just one more day.

Conductor Wendell Alverson helps the passengers board the Candy Cane Express at its depot in Garibaldi Saturday.  Photo by Brad Mosher

The train was running at near capacity each time it made its weekend run to Rockaway Beach festooned with Christmas trees and lights inside the passenger cars, Alverson said.

“We have been running with pretty much every seat full,” Alverson added.

But the conductor said there may be some changes next December.

The Candy Cane Express will be adding another weekend to its December run, the last weekend before Christmas will be added to the schedule in 2017.

The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad has been running the Candy Cane Express for more than 10 years and it has proven to very popular, both for tourists and for the local residents, the conductor said.

It doesn’t take too long for the passenger cars to start filling up with parents and children for the December runs on weekends. Photo by Brad Mosher

Engine 25, a steam engine, was used this season for the runs to Rockaway Beach. “Last year, we used the diesel locomotive. For the past couple of years, the 25 was down getting repairs, so we used the diesels. But it (Engine 25) is back up and running this year,” he said. “Previously, they used to use Engine Number 2, the Heisler.”

The Candy Cane Express also gave one San Diego grandmother, Paula Real, the opportunity to take her grandson for a ride Saturday. Three-year old Bear Bayouth of Manzanita was busy checking out everything inside the passenger car, from the Christmas decorations and lights to the view through the windows and the gifts underneath the Christmas tree.