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KCS Holiday Express to return this year

The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express will return to Port Arthur this year.

This year marks the 16th anniversary of the annual Holiday Express, which will stop in 22 communities in seven states on 26 dates. At each stop, visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. Each event is free and open to the public.

The Holiday Express will be in Port Arthur at 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Seafarer’s Center, 401 Houston Ave.

In addition to free, public events, KCS’ Holiday Express has a charitable component. Over 16 years, the project has raised more than $1 million to purchase gift cards, which are donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop. These gift cards are used to purchase warm clothing and other necessities for children in the local community, according to a press release from KCS.

“KCS is pleased to continue its long-standing Holiday Express tradition,” President and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer said. “As a company, we value family and being responsible corporate citizens. It’s a pleasure to give back and bring the holiday spirit to communities where we operate and where our employees live and work.”

Led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the Holiday express train includes a smiling tank card “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. Each car is dressed in lights.

The full schedule of stops can be found online at http://www.kcsouthern.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility/holiday-express