Santa Claus won't be riding the rails around Prince Rupert this winter after the cancellation of the Jingle Bell Express.

Prince Rupert’s Jingle Bell Express cancelled

After more than a decade, Santa Claus won't be riding Prince Rupert rails this December as part of the Jingle Bell Express.

After more than a decade, Santa Claus won’t be riding Prince Rupert rails this December as part of the Jingle Bell Express.

The annual event, which is organized by Dave Walker and the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, will not be taking place because the chamber missed the deadline to reserve a train.

Jacques Gagnon, Via Rail’s senior manager of media and community relations, said the lack of the Jingle Bell Express was not the company’s decision.

“We are not involved with this. The cancellation has to do with the organizers, because this is the type of initiative VIA Rail supports,” Gagnon said.

Simone Clark, executive director of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, isn’t denying the chamber missed the deadline, but said finding an available line for the train to use has also been an ongoing problem over the past few years.

Clark said the event almost didn’t take place last year because of a lack of line space. If Maher hadn’t had an opening, the Jingle Bell Express would have only travelled about 100 metres.

Given the same set of circumstances, Clark said the chamber doesn’t expect it will be putting on the event again anytime soon.

“There’s a likelihood we won’t be able to anymore because there’s so many more trains coming to town,” she said.

“As we have continued industrial growth there’s just not the availability of the lines.”

Walker, who organized the event for the past 15 years, agreed.

“There’s so much activity on the waterfront that it’s just not possible. Quite honestly, I’m surprised it went for the last two years,” he said, adding coordinating the Jingle Bell Express is a major undertaking. Organizers need to start planning as early as March.

“Hopefully everything settles down to a dull roar for next year so they’ll be able to bring it back,” he said.

Just Posted

Rampage come from behind to beat Ice Demons

Prince Rupert scored five goals in the third period to secure the win on Jan. 18

City of Prince Rupert still waiting on street light upgrades

Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure said work would be complete in 2018

How sweet it is: Sugar Shack is back for ninth year

On Jan. 23 the popular Francophone festival in Prince Rupert kicks off with a social

City of Prince Rupert to explore funding for Kwinitsa airport ferry

New roll-on, roll-off berth would be called “Rupert’s Landing”

RCMP asks again for public’s assistance to find Binh Tran

Tran was last seen around the 1600 block of Park Avenue on Dec. 11

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read