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Metrolink budget cuts derail Toy Express

Posted: December 9, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 9, 2013 2:00 a.m.

In this November 2012 file photo, a crowd of hundreds watches as the Holiday Toy Express pulls into the Jan Heidt Metrolink station in Newhall. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

 

The annual Metrolink Holiday Toy Express has been stopped in its tracks because of budget cuts.

Decorated with lights and holiday displays, the train would typically stop at one of Santa Clarita’s three Metrolink stations to spread some holiday cheer and collect toy donations.

But the Metrolink Board of Directors decided earlier this year to discontinue the $269,000 in annual funding it took to keep the train chugging along, citing budgetary constraints in the form of an estimated $10.2 million funding gap for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Jeff Lustgarten, a spokesman for Metrolink, said the transit agency hopes to collect enough private or commercial donations to put the train back on track in future years, but those funds did not materialize in time to salvage a 2013 run.

The Holiday Toy Express had run for the past 16 years.

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