Two area locations will be stops for the Kansas City Southern railroad’s 19th annual Holiday Express train.
Visitors can board the train, meet Santa Claus 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.
The train will stop in Shreveport at 4 p.m. Monday, December 9 in the KCS Yard, 4500 N. Lake Shore Drive, Gate 5.
The train will be in De Queen, AR, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, December 10 in the 300 block of East Stilwell Avenue.
KCS’ Holiday Express has a charitable component. During the past 18 years, the project has raised more than $2.1 million, which was donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop to help provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community.
“KCS is thrilled to bring joy to communities throughout our network with the Holiday Express project,” said KCS president and chief executive officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “This special tradition brings people together, strengthens community ties and supports our corporate values.”
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 KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands enjoy every year.
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.
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