U.S. Sugar to transform ‘Sugar Express’ locomotive into ‘Santa Express’ for the holidays

U.S. Sugar steam locomotive
The steam locomotive will deliver gifts by partnering with the Toys for Tots program.

U.S. Sugar is turning its century-old Sugar Express locomotive into the “Santa Express” to help deliver toys to children in the Lake Okeechobee area.

Workers wrapped restoration work on Locomotive No. 148 earlier this year. Now, U.S. Sugar is partnering with Toys for Tots to help bring holiday cheer to Florida kids.

The train will run a route this Saturday, Dec. 12, hitting four cities over a several hour span.

Starting at 8:30, the Sugar Express will appear in Moore Haven on Park Avenue near 1st Street. The locomotive will remain in that location for approximately half an hour before departing at 9 a.m.

The next stop will be in Clewiston, from 10-10:30 a.m. That stop will see the Sugar Express parked at the intersection of W C Owen Ave and W Aztec Ave.

Shortly after, the Sugar Express will move on to Belle Glade, with a scheduled appearance from 11:15-11:45 a.m. on Osceola Street.

The train will make its final stop Saturday in Port Mayaca from 1:45-2:15 p.m. The Sugar Express will show up near Morning Star Farms Rd and SW Conners Highway.

During those visits, toys will be donated to children “with assistance from members of the United States Marines Corps and a little help from Santa Claus,” according to a release from U.S. Sugar. Parents in need of gifts can sign up at the Toys for Tots website.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face coverings are required. Cones will be placed 6 feet apart at the deliver sites to help keep attendees socially distanced.

After partnering with FMW Solutions LLC to restore the train earlier this year, U.S. Sugar announced they would operate the locomotive under the name “Sugar Express.”

The train was originally launched in 1920 and was used this year to bring a harvest to a U.S. Sugar mill to commemorate its 100-year anniversary. In October, the company once again brought out the locomotive to kick off its harvest season.

Staff Reports


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