Beloved holiday train is riding the rails to delight families in 3 Mississippi cities this Christmas season

Published 6:38 am Saturday, October 14, 2023

All aboard! A beloved holiday tradition is on track to bring the Christmas spirit to three Mississippi cities this year.

The festive holiday train with intricate displays inside and out will bring Santa Claus and his elves to visit children and families across the country.

The Canadian Pacific Kansas City Holiday Express train is scheduled to visit Meridian, Pearl and Vicksburg at the following schedule:

  • Pearl (Jackson) — Saturday, Nov 25, at 4 p.m. at the CPKC Yard, 201 Industrial Park Dr.
  • Meridian — Sunday, Nov 26, at 4 p.m., at Union Station, 1901 Front St.
  • Vicksburg — Monday, Nov 27, at  4 p.m. at Levee Street Station 1000 Levee St. at the foot of Grove St.

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The 2023 KCS Holiday Express will tour the United States from Nov. 20 through Dec.19, collecting money, food and raising awareness for the important work local food banks do in their communities. Since its inception in 1999, the CPKC Holiday Train as well as the KCS Holiday Express have raised more than $22.5 million and more than 5 million pounds of food for community food banks across North America.

CPKC will donate funds from last year’s run to the Vicksburg Salvation Army during its stop next month.

This will mark the 23rd year that the Salvation Army has received a donation from the Holiday Express Program.

Locals will have the opportunity to view the festive six-car train, which includes smiling tank car Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh; reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop, the reindeer stable and a little red caboose, all dressed in lights.

The holiday magic continues as visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars.

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 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 KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands of people enjoy each year.