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KCS announces 20th anniversary Holiday Express will benefit Salvation Army in 20 communities

(Source: Kansas City Southern press release, September 8, 2020)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced today that it would celebrate the 20th anniversary of its KCS Holiday Express program and partnership with The Salvation Army with a fundraiser to benefit the Salvation Army in 20 communities on its U.S. rail network. Due to the pandemic, KCS will not operate its Holiday Express train, which traditionally draws large crowds in free, public events.

“KCS is pleased to celebrate 20 years of its Holiday Express program benefiting The Salvation Army in communities throughout our U.S. rail network,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “While it is not safe to gather for free visits with Santa Claus and tours of the Holiday Express train this year, the need for the charitable component of this program is greater than ever.”

The 20 communities that will receive the funds raised for The Salvation Army include Kansas City, Joplin and Mexico, Mo., Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Laredo and Port Arthur, Texas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport and Westlake, La., Gulfport, Jackson and Vicksburg, Miss., Decatur, Ark., East St. Louis, Ill., Pittsburg, Kan. and Heavener, Okla.

Over 19 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.1 million, which was donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop to help provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2020 KCS Holiday Express fundraising campaign may do so at http://www.salarmy.us/HolidayExpress

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 have enjoyed for the past 19 years.

In 2020, we honor one of the founding volunteer elves, Tillie Caileff, who was integral to the Holiday Express program’s success, and who passed away earlier this year.

In each of the past 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 will not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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