Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced its schedule for the 18th annual Holiday Express train, which will include a stop in Sallisaw at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6.
The schedule includes 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 Sallisaw, the train will be stopped at West Port Arthur Place.
In addition to free, public events, KCS’ 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 visiting www.kcsouthern.com Holiday Express or by clicking here. The campaign will close Oct. 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.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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