As the residents of Gotham brace themselves for thousands of screaming, vomiting and fornicating Santas on Saturday, the Long Island Rail Road announced they're banning booze on all their trains on the Day The Lord Forgot. So thankfully, there will be no Mrs. Claus body shots on the Long Beach line this year—though on the other hand, it also means non-SantaConning LIRR commuters cannot drink away all the Santas.
DNAinfo reported today that the LIRR will be instituting a 24-hour ban on alcohol starting at noon on Saturday, presumably to avoid some of this sweet luggage rack luge-and-buttcrack action (#NeverForget St. Patty's Day 2012). Though the LIRR is known for their onboard BYOB happy hours, they do mandate dry days and hours from time to time, including their late-night booze ban on Fridays and Saturdays—this is actually the second year LIRR has banned booze on SantaCon. "We do it based on experience, based on when we've had difficulties….when we're going to be inundated with a lot of people under 21, or maybe just over 21, where they've created problems in the past," LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena told the website, though why SantaCon would cause LIRR officials such trepidation is anybody's guess.
And so, if you plan on getting train-plastered before Saturday's daylong bar crawl/TreasureHorrorHunt, you may have to make your way to Murray Hill via New Jersey Transit, which hasn't issued a SantaCon booze ban just yet—though officials say "a final determination has not yet been made" about allowing drinking onboard this weekend. Though since the LIRR's ban doesn't start until noon, you can also wake-and-swill on an early morning train—which, hopefully, will have you passed out before you pull into Penn Station, sparing the rest of us from watching you vomit outside the Village Pourhouse.
Update 2:52 p.m.: Sorry, New Jersey Transit Santas, but there will be no train boozing for you this year either.
Update 3:04 p.m.: LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena tells us SantaCon is one of several events warranting a temporary train booze ban, including St. Patrick's Day and occasional ticker tape parades. "There was obviously some history to this in which there were disorderly conduct issues on the LIRR in previous years," he said of SantaCon. "MTA police say they've found once they did this things went much more smoothly." You can't drink or carry alcohol during the ban hours, so don't try to sneak an open beer can in your Santa beard.