Santa Claus is hopping on a train and rolling into two local communities to jump start the Christmas season.

Old Saint Nick will ride the Indiana Rail Road to towns across southern Indiana and eastern Illinois the first few days of December.

He will be stopping in Bargersville from 3 to 5 p.m. at the tracks near the town hall and Morgantown from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the fire station on Highland Street.

Access to the Santa Train is free with a ticket and a limited number of tickets will be distributed at each stop. Families wanting to meet Santa are encouraged to come early.

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Children can get in line to board the train to tell Santa want they want for Christmas.

Guests waiting in line can be entertained with full cast of costumed characters, brought to life by Indiana Rail Road employee volunteers, their families and friends. Santa’s helpers also will provide donated warm-weather gear to children in need of warmth this winter.