Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced today that the 22nd KCS Holiday Express program raised over $215,000 to benefit The Salvation Army in 20 communities in eight states where the KCS Holiday Express train stopped this year. 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."
Special thanks to the major sponsors to date, including Bartlett, a Savage Company; Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer Family Foundation; Haverty Family Foundation; Husch Blackwell; Kansas City Southern Historical Society; KingdomBuilding Leadership, Inc.; Precision Waste Solutions; RailPros; The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund; Virginia Vollrath Hertenstein; Watco; and ZA Construction. A list of sponsors can be seen here.
Over 22 years, the KCS Holiday Express project has raised over $3.1 million, which was donated to The Salvation Army. 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 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 of people enjoy today.
“The KCS Holiday Express brought Christmas and assistance to so many communities over the years and it was a joy to see it travel the rails again in 2022,” said Major Kelly Collins, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army’s Kansas and Western Missouri Division. “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.”
In the first 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 returned in 2022 after not occurring the previous two years. The KCS Holiday Express is free to the public at all stops.
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.
C. Doniele Carlson, 816-983-1372, firstname.lastname@example.org