Express train bears season’s cheer through the South

Jan 7, 2020 | by Brad Rowland

Express train bears season's cheer through the South

The Holiday Express, a Christmastime tradition of the Kansas City Southern Railroad, is distributing $170,450 in charitable contributions to The Salvation Army as the brightly decorated, six-car train makes its way across five Southern and Midwestern states.

The train departed Nov. 27 from Shreveport, Louisiana, and was to make stops in 20 communities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas before concluding its journey at Kansas City, Missouri, Union Station – home base for the KCS – Dec. 18-22.

"KCS looks forward to bringing Santa and his elves on the Holiday Express train to communities throughout our U.S. network," said Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, KCS president and chief executive officer. "This project brings people together, strengthens community ties and supports our corporate vision and values."

When the train stops, gift cards are given to the local Salvation Army to purchase warm clothes and other necessities. The gifts are made possible by contributions of KCS employees, vendors and friends.

Led by KCS' Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express consists of "Rudy," a smiling locomotive; a flat car carrying Santa's sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; an elves' workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights. People are invited to board the train, meet Santa and his elves, and tour three cars filled with holiday displays.

KCS thanks major sponsors who made this year's trip possible, including APL Logistics Americas Ltd, Bartlett Grain/Savage Companies, Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer, Husch Blackwell LLP, Kansas City Southern Historical Society, Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation, Precision Waste Solutions LLC, RailPros, The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund and Watco Companies.

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