Holiday train rolls into area
By Special to the News-Journal
Nov. 22, 2012 at 11 p.m.
Kansas City Southern's Holiday Express train is scheduled to roll into East Texas today with a stop in Jefferson. A visit to Pittsburg is set for Monday.
The Holiday Express is a six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities across the country at scheduled stops.
These events are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required.
The Holiday Express is due in Jefferson at 4 p.m. in the downtown area between East Austin and Lafayette streets.
The train will travel to Greenville and Wylie on Saturday and Sunday then return to East Texas on Monday, with a scheduled stop in Pittsburg.
There, the train will stop at 4 p.m. on Texas Street downtown near the Pilgrim's Pride Feed Mill.
On Dec. 3, the Holiday Express is scheduled to be in Shreveport at the KCS Yard, 127 N. Main St.
The Holiday Express also has a charitable component. At each scheduled stop, The KCS Charitable Fund makes a contribution of gift cards to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need.
During the past 11 years, through contributions made by KCS' employees, vendors and friends, the Holiday Express has donated more than $1 million in gift cards to this cause.
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; the elves' workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.
The Holiday Express was created in 2001 after volunteers dedicated over 8,000 hours to the rigorous transformation of the retired rail cars. Festive music and lights complete the package.