The 2022 KCS Holiday Express train will return to the rails for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020. This year, the festive, six-car holiday train with intricate displays inside and out will bring Santa Claus and his elves to visit children and families in 20 communities in eight states. In addition, the KCS Holiday Express project will continue its tradition of charitable giving to The Salvation Army.
“KCS is thrilled that we can once again run the Holiday Express train and stop in communities along our rail network,” said president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “We are grateful to the many donors who continued to support the virtual Holiday Express program over the last two years, and look forward to another successful fundraising campaign to help The Salvation Army help people who need it most during the holiday season.”
Over 21 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 2022 KCS Holiday Express fundraising campaign may donate here.
The 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 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 to the KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands enjoyed for 19 years prior to the start of the pandemic.
In the first 19 years, the KCS Holiday Express train stopped in 20 or more communities in five or six states between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At each stop, visitors could board the train, meet Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. These events return in 2022 after not occurring the previous two years. The KCS Holiday Express is free to the public at all of its stops.
Special thanks to our 2022 Holiday Express Sponsors.