By Railfan & Railroad Staff
KANSAS CITY — For the second year in a row, Kansas City Southern has canceled its Holiday Express train due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the railroad said it will raise funds for the Salvation Army in 21 different communities across its system.
For more than 20 years, KCS has run a holiday train covered in lights as a way to raise money for local charities. The train usually attracts a big crowd, which is why it has had to be canceled twice due to the pandemic.
“KCS is pleased to celebrate 21 years of Holiday Express benefiting The Salvation Army in communities throughout our U.S. rail network,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “While it’s still not safe to gather for visits with Santa and tours through the train, the true stars of the show are The Salvation Army and the work it does all year round.”
The 21 communities that will receive the funds raised for The Salvation Army include Kansas City and Slater, Mo.; East St. Louis, Ill.; Pittsburg, Kan.; Ashdown and Mena, Ark.; Poteau and Stilwell, Okla.; Houston, Laredo, Port Arthur, Victoria and Wylie, Texas; Baton Rouge, DeQuincy, Gonzalez and Shreveport, La.; and Corinth, Jackson, Meridian and Vicksburg, Miss.
“In this pandemic, the fastest increasing area of need is for families who will be unable to pay their rent or mortgages and face eviction. The donations The Salvation Army will receive through the KCS Holiday Express will keep families in their homes and keep hope marching on for them into 2022,” said Major Kelly Collins, divisional commander of The Salvation Army Kansas and Western Missouri Division.
Over 20 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.6 million. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2021 KCS Holiday Express fundraising campaign may do so at https://donate.salarmymokan.org/KCSHolidayExpress2021.