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Operation Toy Train, a New Jersey nonprofit whose holiday train has been collecting donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation for 15 years, is expanding its route in New Jersey and nearby states to bring joy to even more underprivileged children. 

This year’s train schedule includes brand new stops in southern New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and western Connecticut. Operation Toy Train has set a goal to collect more than 30,000 toys donated by individuals and businesses during the 2023 holiday season. 

In addition to using its own specialized railroad equipment, Operation Toy Train partners with several local railroads and nonprofit organizations that generously donate their railcars, personnel, and time to operate the train. This year, the collection train will operate over 200 miles across seven railroads at 36 locations in four states between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16, including three stationary events. The full schedule is available here. 

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the train at any of its stops to donate new unwrapped toys in their original packaging. Attendees at each stop can also participate in on-site activities sponsored by towns and local businesses, meet Santa, view a variety of historic railroad equipment, and meet members of the Marine Corps and Operation Toy Train. 

For those unable to make it to one of the train’s stops, local businesses and organizational partners near each stop have received large Toys for Tots collection boxes where they can collect toy donations in advance and deliver them to the train. After the toys are delivered to the Marines, they are redistributed as holiday gifts to underprivileged and less-fortunate children in the communities where the campaigns are conducted. 

Businesses, organizations, and individuals looking to sponsor, donate to, or participate in Operation Toy Train are also encouraged to visit the website at or contact the organization at to learn how to get involved.  

Operation Toy Train is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all financial donations are tax-deductible. Funds are used to support the organization’s toy collection operations and the maintenance and upkeep of its specialized railroad equipment.