Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train stops in Joplin for night of giving back, holiday fun

Holiday Express donates to Salvation Army

Hundreds of people lined up to get a look inside the famous Kansas City Southern Holiday Express train.

The decked out train makes stops in 20 communities in 5 states in 25 days.

“It’s the 19th annual KCS holiday express and it’s a public relations good will campaign that were able to get back to the communities that our line operates and Joplin is one of those communities” said Santa’s Right-hand man, Grant Elliott.

Visitors hopped on board, touring inside and visiting Santa and his elves.

“Each of the cars is decorated from top to bottom with Christmas themed decorations so it’s a feel good thing so if they leave with anything they’re probably feeling good” added Elliott.

Its not just about spreading holiday cheer, but giving back to the community. Over the last 18 years, Kansas City Southern has raised over 2.1 million dollars.

“Throughout the year we receive donations and then at each stop we distribute kind of do a gift exchange with the Salvation Army, so then they can help those families in need” said Elliott.

The Joplin Salvation Army hopes to raise $291,000 before the end of the year.

“We are running behind and the needs are great, but if we don’t have the finances it just affects how we can give service” said Major Doug Stearns with the Joplin Salvation Army.

Donations from the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express train help them reach closer to that goal.

“Every bit helps us edge towards that, its an amount to raise in a short time from November to the end of the year and the Christmas bell ringing only goes to actually to Christmas Eve and this year Christmas is almost here, so every bit is going to help us to get closer to that” added Stearns.

The train doesn’t stop in Joplin every year, so this good will event is a real treat.

“It’s a good way for families to go out and experience the holidays together and in their own community” said Elliot.

The train runs through December 22nd. You can find the trains next stops on their website.

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