Kansas City Southern announced that its 14th Annual Holiday Express will distribute $150,175 in gift cards to The Salvation Army at stops along the Holiday Express route.
The gift cards are designated for the purchase of warm clothing and other necessities for children in need. The company has also launched a free KCS Holiday Express app to enhance the visitor experience.
“The KCS Holiday Express is an important project for our company and a joyful way to give back to the communities through which we operate,” said KCS president and CEO David L. Starling. “It’s great to see the smiles on the faces of visitors to the train. As always, we are grateful to our generous employees, vendors and friends, who donate their time and make charitable contributions to make the holidays shine even brighter.”
Special thanks to the major sponsors who helped make this year’s charitable contribution possible, including The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund, Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation, DST Systems, Inc., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bartlett Grain, Paragon Products, LLC and Watco Companies. Additional sponsors are listed on the KCS website.
The six-car train with Santa Claus and his elves will be open to the public in 21 communities in seven states on 24 dates. Access to the train is free. The train is visiting Heavener on Dec. 14. The complete schedule is available on the KCS website. 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 gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.
The Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network 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. KCS employees were so touched that they committed to elevating the project. Since its beginning in 2001, the Holiday Express project has raised well over $1 million to purchase gift cards for this cause.
New this year, is the first-ever KCS Holiday Express app for Android and iPhone. The free app is designed to enhance the visitor experience with a list of scheduled stops, location-specific details, KCS Holiday Express on Facebook and Instagram, Santa’s favorite recipes and more. Download the KCS Holiday Express app by clicking here with your mobile device.
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 The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, 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.