The train is like no others in the nation, bringing Christmas cheer to thousands across the region. It returns this year for the 18th annual Kansas City Southern Holiday Express.
The schedule will see it stop in 22 communities in eight states on 27 dates. At each stop, visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. Each event is free and open to the public.
In addition to free, public events, the Holiday Express has a charitable component. Over the past 17 years, the project has raised well over $2 million to purchase gift cards, which are donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop. These gift cards are used to purchase warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community.
“KCS is proud to continue this long-standing tradition of bringing joy to communities throughout our network with the Holiday Express train,” said KCS president and chief executive officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “This project brings people together, helps build relationships in the community and supports our corporate vision and values.”
Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2018 KCS Holiday Express fundraising campaign may do so by clicking image above or go to their website HERE. The campaign will close October 31.
The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network bought by KCS in 1997. In 2000, a group of warm-hearted KCS employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some kids did not have essential items like coats, hats and gloves, so they committed to elevating the project. In 2001, volunteers transformed a retired freight train to the experience that communities throughout KCS’ U.S. service territory enjoy today.
Led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car “Rudy;” a flat car carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; an elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights.
Headquartered in Kansas City, KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. Its primary U.S. holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company. KCS’ North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a railway network linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.