Holiday train ride’s abrupt cancellation upsets families with lost money and time

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BATESVILLE, Miss. — Customers are demanding answers after the Train to Christmas Town, a holiday train ride that attracts people from all over the area, derailed in Panola County last week.

The train’s operator said Friday the train would run over the weekend, but now all rides have been canceled. Some customers say they were notified just minutes before they were supposed to get on the train.

Kayla Crowe and her mom Karen contacted WREG saying they’re getting the runaround from the company running the Train to Christmas Town out of Batesville.

“It’s not right, and something needs to be done,” Crowe said.

Last week, the holiday train train derailed with more than 200 people on board. No one was hurt. State troopers said the accident happened after the tracks separated.

Families thought the problem had been fixed and said no notice was given to think their safety could be in jeopardy.

Crowe and her mother were headed to the train ride Saturday when they get an email minutes before they were supposed enjoy the attraction.

“Saying that it would be cancelled for the day,” Crowe said. “That we could reschedule it for Sunday or Monday. That they would call us.”

She said that never happened. Crowe has tried calling but gets no answer, and she can’t even leave a message.

The family fears they’re now out about $150.

WREG went to Batesville to find out what’s going on. Immediately, we saw the Crowes were not alone.

“I have three grand-babies, and we’re very upset right now,” one customer said. “They just sent us an email, didn’t tell us why, or whatever. I mean, that’s bad business.”

This family said their ride was set for 2 p.m. They received a notice of the cancellation minutes before.

Jimmy Kalil was on the train that derailed. He was at the office trying to see if he could get a refund.

“$344 at Christmastime is kind of tough,” he said. “That was a lot of my family’s Christmas presents.”

The Berry family came from Clinton, Mississippi, about two hours away, only to be met with disappointment.

A sign outside the Train to Christmas Town office said all rides have been canceled due to safety issues.

WREG went to try and speak with someone. A woman at the front desk said she couldn’t say anything about refunds, as she is simply an employee.

We called the customer service number and were met with a busy voice mailbox message. We also sent an email.

Jamie White, who drove five hours from the Mississippi coast for the experience, is upset about time and money lost.

” My biggest frustration is my 3-year-old and my 2-year-old, that I have been hyping them up, pumping them up about it,” White said.

They’re now left disappointed.

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