KCS Holiday Express Tenth Anniversary
The Kansas City Southern's Holiday Express starts the second half of its 2010 rounds today as it enters Arkansas for a three nights of appearances before moving on to Oklahoma and Missouri. See its schedule here.
In addition to having the coolest locomotive-like tank car on the rails, this tenth anniversary version of the train has the charitable mission of distributing $133,725 in gift cards to the Salvation Army.
I've seen the train most years since 2005, and every year - no matter how cold it is - adults and kids line up to walk through several cars of Christmas decor, complete with Santa and a small gift bag.
As in previous years, the Holiday Express is pulled by a train with more appeal to nostalgic adults, the Southern Bell. The "Belle", KCS' business and executive train, is a recreated version of one of the railroad's passenger trains of days gone by.
Vintage F-9 locomotives power the Southern Belle.
Here's the Belle blasting through a crossing south of Joplin in 2008:
Read more about the train and see how folks look in elf costumes in Memoirs of an Elf. See my most recent pictures of the Holiday Express in KCS Holiday Express, 2009. I understand that this year they've added a G-scale version of the rain, placed on a flatcar.