Here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the GGRM's Holiday Club Lounge service on the Niles Canyon Railway's 2010 Train of Lights.
How do I buy tickets?
Tickets for reserved seats in the Holiday Club Lounge can be purchased at the Holiday Club Lounge ticketing Web site. The Holiday Club Lounge operates only on the trains departing Sunol. Tickets are $40 per seat.
Individual unreserved tickets for the rest of the Train of Lights will go on sale at the Train of Lights Web site on Monday, October 18, at 10 a.m. You can use a credit card to order your tickets. This Web page will show which trains have space available.
Do children need a ticket?
All seats in the Holiday Club Lounge are reserved and require a ticket.
Will our large group be able to sit together?
Please arrive early to help with seating. Large groups will be accommodated in combinations of booths and seats. One end of the car hold 24, the other 26. If you are part of a larger group and have purchased tickets in different names, someone in your group needs to let us know right away at boarding how many are in your party.
Can I bring a stroller?
Strollers, bassinets and car seats are discouraged for a number of reasons. The aisles of the vintage cars are narrow, there is limited space in the vestibules of the cars, and the train will be crowded. It would be better if you can leave these items behind.
What about wheelchair access?
The Holliday Club Lounge is not wheel chair accessible due to the narrow aisles of the antique equipment.
If you will have a wheelchair in your group, or someone in need of special assistance, the train of lights has cars that are accessible. You can check with the Station Agent by telephone at 510-996-8420.
Where do I get my tickets?
Your tickets for the Holiday club lounge will be emailed to you along with your confirmation email. Please ensure that each person in your party has a ticket prior to boarding.
Group leaders should make copies of the map and directions, which available online (see Item 2 above) and distribute them to each of the drivers in your group.
Be sure to check your departure station before leaving home so you will go to the correct location. We will not be able to accommodate people who have tickets for trains departing from the wrong station.
What if it rains?
Trains run in any weather. There are NO refunds if it rains. The Holiday Club Lounge is heated for your comfort. Please be prepared for inclement weather, dress appropriately and allow more time to get to the depot and park during bad weather.
Are tickets refundable?
This is a fundraiser. The tickets are not refundable. However, you may be able to exchange your tickets for another train (based on limited availability). Our holiday trains are often sold out months in advance so there may not be a sufficient number of tickets on another train available for an exchange. To inquire about an exchange, contact the Station Agent at 650-395-7344 or firstname.lastname@example.org. An exchange fee of $10.00 per order will be charged to change tickets orders. You may also check in with the station agent on the day of the train you prefer and get on the waiting list for that train.
Where does the Train depart?
The Train of Lights offers round trips from Sunol and Niles, however the Holiday Club Lounge will be be available only on trains departing Sunol.
The Train of Lights will run every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from Friday November 26, through Sunday December 19, plus Tuesday December 21, Wednesday December 22, Thursday December 23, Sunday December 26 and Monday December 27.
All Sunol trains depart at 4:30 PM and 7:00 PM.
How long is the trip?
The round trip from Sunol to Niles takes a little over an hour (plus boarding and exiting time). There are porta-potties at the station. Note that there are only a few restrooms on board the train for emergency use, so please prepare accordingly.
The ride is about 75 minutes long, and the two trains will pass each other during the trip.
Where do I board the train?
For a map and directions to the Sunol Depot click here.
• It is easy to get lost on the dark country roads around Sunol if you are not familiar with the area.
• If for no other reason than to be able to find the depot on that important evening, you should consider coming to ride the train during a regular Sunday daytime operation.
When should I arrive?
Arrive early, because OUR TRAINS LEAVE ON TIME. Boarding begins about 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Please be at the depot no less than 30 minutes before departure. If you need assistance in boarding, you should plan to arrive earlier.
Where do I park?
Sunol - Parking at the depot in Sunol is limited, so please carpool as much as possible.
o Parking in the lighted lot at the Sunol Depot is available for compact and regular sized cars.
o Five ADA parking spaces are located in the middle of the main lot near the boarding area.
o Full-sized pickup trucks, six-packs, dual rear wheel trucks, campers, small motor homes and buses may park at the Sunol Glen school one block east of the depot. Please DO NOT drive these large vehicles into the main parking lot unless you have made prior arrangements with the station agent.
o Note: All parking is close to residences. Please be considerate of our neighbors' peace and quiet when you come to visit us.
o DO NOT BLOCK residence or business driveways. Your vehicle may be towed at your expense if you block a driveway.
Are there refreshments on-board?
Yes. Hot drinks, juice, and other snacks are available for purchase on board the train. Please discard any trash in the provided containers on the train, or on the platform. You may also bring your own snacks if you wish, but please do not bring raisins, grapes, M&Ms, goldfish crackers or other small rolling items that you wouldn't want to find under your own furniture.
What should I bring?
Bring large doses of good cheer and any protective clothing you may need against the weather. While we don't often have rain, it is frequently cold. A small flashlight may be useful to help you move safely between your vehicle and the train.
What if I have other questions about the Holiday Club Lounge?
For more information, contact us by email at HCLcharter@ggrm.org or by telephone at (650) 395-7344.