Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) announced today that its 16 th annual Holiday Express will distribute a total of $153,290 in gift cards to The Salvation Army at stops along the Holiday Express route. The gift cards are designated for the purchase of warm clothing and other necessities for kids in need. "On behalf of the employees of Kansas City Southern, we look forward to bringing Santa Claus and his elves on the Holiday Express train to communities throughout our U.S. service territory, and we are especially pleased to continue the tradition of charitable giving in each community where the train will stop," said KCS president and chief executive officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. Special thanks to the major sponsors who helped make this year's charitable contribution possible, including Bartlett Grain, Burris Logistics, The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund, Kansas City Southern Historical Society, Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation, Patrick Ottensmeyer Family Fund, R.J. Corman Railroad Group, Steel Dynamics and Watco Companies. Additional sponsors are listed on the KCS website. The train will stop in 22 communities in seven states on 26 dates. The complete schedule is available on the KCS website. 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. 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 gingerbread box car; an elves' workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights. The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a rail line 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 into the experience that communities enjoy today.