Thousands of toys were collected on the West Coast Express Santa Train last month for the Christmas Bureau.

Thousands of toys collected on Santa Train in Mission

Ridership increased by 700 in 2014 on West Coast Express toy train

More than 3,760 people boarded the West Coast Express Santa Train over the holidays to help families in need over the holiday season.

The Santa Train is a toy drive that has been running for 19 years from Mission to Vancouver. Riders board the train for free with a donation of a new toy to various Christmas Bureaus throughout communities served by WCE.

The event ran for two consecutive Saturdays and raised 2,732 toys and $422 for the Christmas Bureau in Mission. In Maple Ridge, 770 toys and $220 were collected, and in the Tri Cities, 717 toys and $453 were donated.

According to Translink, which operates the WCE, there were 700 more riders in 2014 compared to 2013.

The Santa Train operated in partnership with Black Press Newspaper Group, Rogers Radio Group, CP Rail, Bombardier, VIA Rail, and Saputo/Dairyland.

WCE has been providing weekday commuter train service for the 65-kilometre stretch from Mission to Vancouver since 1995. There are eight stations along the route. The service carries over 11,000 people per day.

For more information about Santa Train or other charity train partners, visit translink.ca/santatrain.