KCS Holiday Express tour to make stops in area next month

The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express will return to the area next month. The train will make stops in Joplin and Goodman in Missouri and Pittsburg, Kan. At each event, children and their families will be able to meet Santa Claus and his elves as well as tour three of the six cars included in the festive train.GLOBE FILE

Kansas City Southern has announced the results of its 19th annual Holiday Express fundraising campaign as well as the schedule for its Christmas train, which is planning three stops in the area in December.

The railroad said it will distribute $170,450 to The Salvation Army at stops along the route, providing warm clothing and other items to meet children’s needs during the holidays.

“KCS looks forward to bringing Santa and his elves on the Holiday Express train to communities throughout our U.S. network. We are especially pleased to continue the long-standing tradition of charitable giving,” KCS President and CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer said in a statement.

The train will stop in 20 communities in five states on 25 dates, from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Kansas City, between Nov. 27 and Dec. 22.

Local stops include:

• Goodman, at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at 205 West B Ave., at the intersection of North School Street and West B Avenue.

• Joplin, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Union Depot, just east of B and North Main streets.

• Pittsburg, Kan., at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at the corner of Elm and Monroe streets.

The Holiday Express is led by the Southern Belle business train and includes a smiling tank car, “Rudy”; a flat car carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; an elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights. At each stop, visitors can board the train, meet Santa and his elves, and tour the inside of three cars of the six-car train.

Although the train is available for tours, it is not available for rides.

Each event is free and open to the public.

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.

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