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2013 Holiday Club Lounge FAQ

GGRM Staff
August, 2013

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the GGRM's Holiday Club Lounge service on the Niles Canyon Railway's 2013 Train of Lights.

The Train of Lights will make ONE round trip departing Niles at 4:30 PM and ONE round trip departing Sunol at 7:30 PM each evening that the train is scheduled.

1. What days does the train Run?
The Train of Lights will run every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from Friday November 29, through Sunday, December 29.

2. 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 at https://hcl-2013-niles.eventbrite.com for Niles departures and https://hcl-2013-sunol.eventbrite.com for Sunol departures. 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, September 16 at 10 a.m. You can use a credit card to order your tickets. This Web page will show which trains have space available.

3. Do children need a ticket?
All seats in the Holiday Club Lounge are reserved and require a ticket regardless of age.

4. 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 holds 24, the other 26.   If you are part of a larger group and have purchased tickets UNDER MORE THAN ONE NAME in your group, please email us at least 48 hours before your trip at HCLCharter@ggrm.org We will then be able to better seat your group together.

5. 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. The lounge is not equipped with changing tables or other needs for infants.

6. What about wheelchair access?
The Holiday 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 unreserved section of the Train of Lights has cars that are accessible. You can check with the Station Agent by telephone at 510-996-8420.

7. Where do I get my tickets?
The tickets you print from your Eventbrite email are all you need to board the Holiday Club Lounge. You do not need to go to the station to exchange tickets. Please ensure that each person in your party has a ticket prior to boarding.

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. Group leaders should make copies of the map and directions, which available online (see Item 10 below) and distribute them to each of the drivers in your group.

8. 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.

9. 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) 503-3194 or dphensarling@ggrm.org. An exchange fee of $10.00 per order will be charged to change tickets orders.

10. 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.

11. Where does the Train depart?
The Train of Lights offers round trips from Sunol and Niles. The train will make ONE round trip departing Niles at 4:30 PM and ONE round trip departing Sunol at 7:30 PM each evening that the train is scheduled.

12. Where do I board the train?
For a map and directions to the Niles Depot click here.
For a map and directions to the Sunol Depot click here.
• It is easy to get lost on the dark country roads 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.

13. Where do I park?

At the Sunol Depot:
  • Parking at the depot in Sunol is limited, so please carpool as much as possible.
  • Parking in the lighted lot at the Sunol Depot is available for compact and regular sized cars.
  • Five ADA parking spaces are located in the middle of the main lot near the boarding area.
  • 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.
  • All parking is close to residences.  Please be considerate of our neighbors' peace and quiet when you come to visit us.
  • DO NOT BLOCK residence or business driveways.  Your vehicle may be towed at your expense if you block a driveway.
At the Niles Depot
  • There is a parking lot on the Niles Depot property off of Mission Blvd. and Sullivan's Underpass.
  • ADA parking spaces are located in the middle of the main lot near the boarding area.

14. How long is the trip?
The round trip from Sunol to Niles takes a little over 75 minutes (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.

15. Are there refreshments on-board?
Yes. Hot drinks, juice, and other snacks are available for purchase on board the train. 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. Please discard any trash in the provided containers on the train, or on the platform.

16. 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) 503-3194.