The “Cowtown Santa Express” will return to the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad this coming holiday season, with the first train rides scheduled to begin this week on Wednesday. According to the organization, they are expanding the 2023 schedule to include more trains stocked with hot chocolate and cookies, holiday music and, of course, Santa himself. In it’s inaugural 2022 season, the “Cowtown Santa Express” hauled over 1,000 passengers, which prompted the railroad to significantly increase seating capacities for this year. The 2023 holiday schedule features 30 trains that will run from Wednesday, November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, and conclude on December 23. Two trains will run each evening at 5:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The train and the 1887 Rock Island Depot will be decked in holiday lights, and the railroad’s heated antique passenger cars will be decorated inside. This year, the A&SV is offering “value” and “premium” pricing levels, with fares increasing as time draws closer to Christmas. Families will be allowed to reserve full tables in the Chicago car, while single seats will be available in the Enterprise coach. Families reserving tables in the Chicago car will be required to purchase an entire table of four. Cowtown Santa Express tickets and seating reservations are available at the A&SV website, asvrr.org.