This Weekend the Holiday Train Toy Drive Marks Season of Giving


On Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, Caltrain will hold the annual Holiday Train toy drive event presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation for Bay Area residents from San Francisco to the South Bay.

Decorated with more than 75,000 glittering lights, the Holiday Train will visit nine Caltrain stations over the weekend. At each of the train’s 20-minute station stops, people can join in singing with onboard carolers and the Salvation Army Christmas Brass Ensemble. Santa, Mrs. Claus and their extended family including Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer will get off the train to greet kids and pose for pictures. Prior to the arrival of the train, families can enjoy free entertainment at each of the Holiday Train station stops as well as local community events like the Hometown Holidays Parade in Redwood City and the inaugural Winter Ice Rink in Downtown Sunnyvale.

“We are grateful to the generous Bay Area residents who have donated more than 50,000 toys since the start of this local tradition in 2001,” said Caltrain Executive Director Jim Hartnett. “This event would not be possible without the support of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, sponsors and our staff for helping us provide this magical experience to the communities we serve.”

In addition to offering families free holiday fun, the Holiday Train offers an opportunity to donate new toys or books to local children whose families are struggling to make ends meet. Caltrain is proud to partner with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and The Salvation Army to help make the season brighter for everyone.

“The Salvation Army relies on the generosity of the people in the greater Bay Area who donate toys every year as part of the Caltrain Holiday Train event,” said Captain Matt Madsen, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army in San Francisco. “The toys donated during these two days are greatly needed for our local toy programs in San Francisco and throughout the Peninsula. Thanks to the Caltrain Holiday Train many children will get a gift this Christmas.”

Holiday Train Schedule

Saturday, December 7                                     



San Francisco

4:00 p.m.


5:25 p.m.

Redwood City

6:10 p.m.

Mountain View

7:25 p.m.

Santa Clara

8:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 8                                     



San Francisco

4:00 p.m.


5:20 p.m.

San Mateo

6:00 p.m.

Menlo Park

7:05 p.m.


7:50 p.m.


Community Support

Santa’s helpers can get into the holiday spirit by donating or becoming a sponsor on the Holiday Train website,, and by following Caltrain and Silicon Valley Community Foundation on Twitter using the hashtag #HolidayTrain2019 to help spread the word. All Holiday Train donations are collected by and distributed through Silicon Valley Community Foundation.


The Holiday Train would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors for everything from decorations and wiring to costumes.

This year, our Locomotive Sponsor includes The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, and our Media Sponsors include The Daily Journal, The San Francisco Examiner. In-kind sponsors include Enlighted Inc. a Siemen’s Company, Jim’s Handyman Services, Classic Graphics, Peterson Technical Services and the Subway store located in the San Francisco Caltrain Station. 


About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.

Follow Caltrain on Facebook and Twitter.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation: Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. We engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at

About The Salvation Army: Since 1883, The Salvation Army has been transforming lives throughout the Greater Bay Area. The Red Kettle Campaign started in San Francisco in 1891 and is in its 129th year and is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind. It raised $142.7 million nationwide during the 2018 campaign. The Salvation Army serves more than 500,000 people annually in the Greater Bay Area offering practical support, spiritual comfort and a critical safety net to people in need. The Salvation Army provides services to the homeless without discrimination regardless of ethnic or national origin, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or immigration status. For every dollar donated to The Salvation Army, 82 cents is used to support those services in facilities throughout the Bay Area. For more information go to