The KCS Holiday Express is a festive, six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities throughout the company's U.S. rail network at scheduled stops. Guests to the train can visit with Santa Claus and walk through three cars filled with holiday displays. Each event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required.
In addition, at each scheduled stop, a charitable contribution is made to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothes and other necessities for children in need.
The Holiday Express was created in 2001 as volunteers dedicated more than 8,000 hours to transform retired rail cars. Today, these cars feature a smiling tank car named Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa's sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.
Thanks to contributions from KCS' generous employees, vendors and friends, The KCS Charitable Fund purchases gift cards which are donated to the local Salvation Army at each scheduled Holiday Express stop to provide warm clothing for children in need. The 2017 fundraising campaign is now underway and will close on October 31, 2017. Any contributions received after this date will support the 2018 campaign.
If you would prefer to write a check, please make it payable to "Greater Kansas City Community Foundation-KCS Fund" and mail your check to:
2017 Holiday Express
Attention Barbara Blevins
Kansas City Southern
427 West 12th Street
Kansas City MO 64105
Frequently Asked Questions about the KCS Holiday Express
Many frequently asked questions about the Holiday Express are answered below. If not, please contact Corporate Communications at 816-983-1372 or 816-983-1668.
What will I see at a Holiday Express stop?
The train is a spectacle both inside and out. It is comprised of six cars, three of which can be toured. In the caboose, visitors can visit with Santa Claus. After walking through two more cars filled with displays, children will receive a free gift bag.
Can I ride the Holiday Express train?
The train is available for tours at each scheduled stop, but is not available for rides.
Do I need tickets to board the Holiday Express? How much does it cost?
The Holiday Express train is free and open to the public. No tickets are needed. Passage through the train is available on a first come first served basis.
How long is the train open at each stop?
The start time is available on the published schedule. In most cities, we do not list an end time on the schedule, because it is dependent on the crowd size and weather. We will make every effort to keep the train open as long as there are visitors in line.
Is the Holiday Express handicapped accessible?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to bring a wheel chair on board the train. However, kindly notify one of our elves of your circumstances, and we will either help you board the train, or Santa Claus will make a special visit outside the train.
How can I request that the Holiday Express stop in my community?
Once published on our website, the Holiday Express schedule is firm. To request that your community be considered for a future Holiday Express stop, send an email to Corporate Communications.
The train is not stopping in my community, but will pass through. How can I find out what time it will come through my community?
Unfortunately, we can't say. Holiday Express movements are scheduled around our freight trains.
Are there any volunteer opportunities?
The Holiday Express would not be possible without our generous "elves" volunteers. To inquire about opportunities in your community, send an email to Grant Elliott.
What do charitable contributions to the Holiday Express support?
Each year, KCS receives charitable contributions from its employees, vendors and friends. These contributions are used to purchase gift cards, which are divided amongst the communities where the Holiday Express train is scheduled to stop and donated to the Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need.
Where do the gift cards go if there is not a Salvation Army in the community where the Holiday Express stops?
The Salvation Army is divided into districts and works with local organizations in each community to see that the gift cards are distributed where needed.