Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) announced today its schedule for the 2013 Holiday Express train. In its 13th annual run, Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express will stop in 20 communities in six states on 24 dates. At each scheduled 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, KCS’ Holiday Express has a charitable component. Over 12 years, the project has raised almost $1.2 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 the local community.
Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2013 Holiday Express fundraising campaign may do so online from the Holiday Express section of www.kcsouthern.com or by clicking here. Sponsorship benefits are available for contributions of $500 or more. The 2013 campaign will close on October 31.
The Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network purchased 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 even have essential items like coats, hats and gloves. These employees were so touched that 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 flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a ginger bread boxcar; a newly remodeled elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights.