September 6, 2022 - TRA Newswire -

Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced today the first return to the rails of the KCS Holiday Express train since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

This year, the festive, six-car holiday train with intricate displays inside and out will bring Santa Claus and his elves to visit children and families in 20 communities in eight states. In addition, the KCS Holiday Express project will continue its tradition of charitable giving to The Salvation Army.

“KCS is thrilled that we can once again run the Holiday Express train and stop in communities along our rail network,” said president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “We are grateful to the donors who continued to support the virtual Holiday Express program the last two years, and look forward to another successful fundraising effort to help The Salvation Army help people who need it most during the holiday season.”

Texas and nearby stops for the Holiday Express include:

Thursday Dec 1 - 4 p.m. Port Arthur TX Seafarer’s Center, 401 Houston Ave.

Saturday Dec 3  - 4 p.m. Wylie TX Oak St.

Sunday Dec 4 - 4 p.m. Shreveport LA KCS Yard, 4500 North Lake Shore Dr., Gate 5; 

Monday Dec 5 - 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.  Texarkana TX Tiger Stadium at Grim Park, 1601-1699 West 12th St. Shuttle service provided from stadium to train.

Over 21 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.6 million.

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2022 KCS Holiday Express fundraising effort may donate through this link:!/donation/checkout

“The support of the KCS Holiday Express goes a long way to delivering Christmas to thousands of children who need it most,” said The Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri divisional commander Major Kelly Collins. “From Texas to Missouri and points beyond, all of our officers, staff, volunteers, and especially the people we serve are extremely grateful for the 22-year-long commitment by KCS and the Holiday Express.”

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 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 KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands of people enjoyed for 19 years prior to the start of the pandemic.

In the first 19 years, the KCS Holiday Express train stopped in 20 or more communities in five or six states between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At each stop, visitors could board the train, meet Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. These events return in 2022 after not occurring the previous two years. The KCS Holiday Express is free to the public at all of its stops.

Photo credit: Marshall News Messenger