PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

November 26, 2013

Holiday Express Train to roll into town Friday

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

— Santa Claus and his elves will make a stop in Port Arthur to visit with fans via Kansas City Southern Train on Friday.

The KCS Holiday Express Train will make its stop at 4 p.m. Nov. 29, near the Port Arthur International Seafarer’s Center, 401 Houston Ave. The City of Port Arthur in cooperation with the Seafarer’s Center, the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Port Arthur are sponsoring the free event.

“The holiday train is a real treat for children and adults alike. Our staff and volunteers at the Seafarers' Center look forward to it's arrival,” Doreen Badeaux, secretary general for the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America, said. “We will have cookies and other treats available for everyone. Texas Children's Hospital will be there with free hot chocolate, and many area businesses have donated special give a-ways for the children.”

The public is invited to come out and view the train’s lights and decorations, tour the exhibits inside the train cars and enjoy Santa Claus and the elves handing out gift bags.

Port Arthur Library will have decorated Christmas trees outside to add to the Christmas cheer.

“A personal favorite of mine is to see all the adults and children taking pictures of themselves next to Rudy, the Engine whose face is similar to Thomas the Tank Engine. Rudy's red nose lights up at night,” she said. “It's high on the cute scale.”

The six-car train with Santa Claus and his elves will be open to the public in 20 communities in six states on 24 dates. The complete schedule is also available on the KCS website.

The train, led by KCS’s Southern Belle business 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 KCS Holiday Express Train not only fosters community good will but also serves a philanthropic purpose, according to a press release from the City of Port Arthur. This year marks the 13th annual Holiday Express Train event, which has raised more than $1.35 million dollars for the Salvation Army. Communities receive not only the holiday benefit of the train’s presence but also the monetary benefit of the contribution made to the local chapter of the Salvation Army.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews