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— In its ninth annual run, Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express train will bring Santa Claus and his elves to Siloam Springs Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. at the railroad tracks on Jefferson Street. Access to the Holiday Express train is free and open to the public.

In addition to bringing Santa Claus and his elves to many communities, the Holiday Express also has a charitable component. At each scheduled stop, the KCS Charitable Fund will make a contribution of Wal-Mart gift cards to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothing for childrenin need. Thanks to contributions from KCS employees, vendors and friends the KCS Charitable Fund raised $112,825 in 2009 to purchase gift cards.

Led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the six-car Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car, ’Rudy’; a flat car carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread box car; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer’s stable; and a little red caboose. The Holiday Express was created in 2001 after volunteers dedicated more than 8,000 hours to the transformation of theretired freight train. Festive music and lights complete the package.

The Holiday Express train was built on the tradition of the former Gateway Western Santa Train, which made stops in small towns from East St. Louis, IL, to Blue Springs, MO. In 2000 KCS employeesnoticedthattheSanta Train was the only Christmas some kids had and that some did not even have essential items like coats, hats and gloves. The employees were so touched that they committedtoelevatingtheproject to the experience that communities throughout KCSR’s service area enjoy today.

News, Pages 9 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: KCS Holiday Express Is Coming To Siloam Springs

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