Port Arthur holiday train stops help raise more than $200K

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train made a stop through Port Arthur this month, which brightened the Christmas spirit locally but also helped raise money for a great cause.

Well, Kansas City Southern officials have announced just how successful the effort was.

The program raised more than $215,000 to benefit The Salvation Army in 20 communities in eight states where the KCS Holiday Express train stopped in 2022. 

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In addition, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, almost 48,000 visitors were welcomed to the train in free public events. 

“I am so pleased that we were able to bring the KCS Holiday Express train back to communities on our U.S. network and make a significant charitable contribution to help people in need,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “The Holiday Express remains an important expression of KCS’ commitment to the communities we serve, and we are delighted it was once again a great success. Thanks to the many KCS employees and volunteers who make this annual tradition possible.” 

There was an amazing response in Port Arthur.

Hundreds of people from Southeast Texas waited in line at the Port Arthur International Seafarer’s Center Dec. 1 to begin an experience that included caroling, writing letters to Santa, taking pictures with Santa and touring the train.

Savannah Cantafio, 2, who eagerly toured the train in awe as her mother followed behind. Cantafio is from Port Neches.

Also from Port Neches was Beau Burnett, 7, and his sister Bryley Burnett, 5.

Beau said he had a great time, and “the trains that run under us” was his favorite part.

Briceidy Lopez, 8, thought hard as she wrote a letter to Santa inside the Seafarer’s Center. The Port Arthur child put “a cat” as the single item under her wish list.

Major Kelly Collins, divisional commander of The Salvation Army’s Kansas and Western Missouri Division, says the KCS Holiday Express brought Christmas and assistance to so many communities over the years.

“We will always remain grateful to the entire KCS family for supporting the work and mission of The Salvation Army through their work during the holiday season,” Collins said. 


Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. KCS’ North American rail holdings and strategic alliances with other North American rail partners are primary components of a unique railway system, linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.