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KCS announces 11th annual Holiday Express schedule

(Source: Kansas City Southern press release, August 25, 2011)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Southern announced today that its schedule for the 11th Annual Holiday Express is now available from a link on the home page of www.kcsouthern.com and from KCS Holiday Express on Facebook. The festive, six-car train with Santa Claus and his elves will be open to the public on 27 dates in 25 communities in seven states throughout The Kansas City Southern Railway Company service territory, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. Access to the Holiday Express train is free and open to the public.

The Holiday Express also has a charitable component. At each scheduled stop, The KCS Charitable Fund will make a contribution of gift cards to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need. Over the past 10 years, thanks to the generous contributions of KCS’ employees, vendors and friends, the Holiday Express has donated $953,984 in gift cards to this cause.

A campaign to raise funds to purchase gift cards for the 2011 Holiday Express is now underway and will close on October 29, 2011. Those interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to this campaign may do so online from the Holiday Express section of www.kcsouthern.com. Sponsorship benefits are available for contributions of $500 or more.

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; a newly remodeled 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 freight train. Festive music and lights complete the package.

The Holiday Express train was built on the tradition of the former Gateway Western (GWWR) Santa Train, which made stops in small towns from East St. Louis, Ill. to Blue Springs, Mo. (GWWR was purchased by KCS in 1997.) In 2000, KCS employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some did not even have essential items like coats, hats and gloves. The employees were so touched that they committed to elevating the project to the experience that communities throughout KCSR's service area enjoy today.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. Its primary U.S. holding is KCSR, serving the central and south central U.S. Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., serving northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal. KCS' North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a NAFTA Railway system, linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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