Thousand of people welcomed the Magical Holiday Train as it stopped in Toronto on Nov. 28 to celebrate its 25th anniversary with twinkling lights and a live Christmas performance.
“It’s really festive, not a lot of festive things are happening right now,” said Laura Ramone, attending the CP holiday train for the first time. “The only downside is that it is freezing.”
Holiday LED lights decorated the 1,000-foot long train that made a stop at 8:15 p.m. at the CP Yard office parking lot on Runnymede Road. Attendees were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations to the free event.
At 8:30 p.m, the Canadian alternative rock group Anyway Gang debuted a live performance show, having the crowd sing along to popular Christmas songs, like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Feliz Navidad” till 9 p.m.
“This is really special for me, it is like in the movies,” said Rosita Chan, an International student from China. “We don’t have this kind of event back home. This is magical.”
Since 1999, the Holiday train first known as Canadian Pacific (CP) began travelling across Canada and the United States raising money, food and awareness on hunger issues.
On March 15, 2023, the Kansas City Southern(KCS) train joined CP, creating the first single-line railway connecting Canada, the U.S and Mexico under the name of CPKC
Now with its new name the CPKC was still committed to to support communities in need, stoping now in over 190 communities.
A $15,000 check was donated to Daily Bread Food Bank by CPKC.
A total of $22.5 million and more than five-million pounds of food have been raised by the holiday train since its inception in 1999.
“We are proud to support local food banks as we fight food insecurity by collecting food and raising money and awareness,” said Keith Cree, CPKC President and Chief Executive Officer in a statement. “I am grateful to all the railroaders and community members who have supported the Holiday Train over the past quarter century and made it such a success.”
The festive train began its tour on Nov. 20 and stopped in Milton, Hamilton, Cambridge, London, Windsor, and Oshawa before arriving in Toronto.
The Holiday train departed Toronto to go to its next stops in Vaughan, Barrie, Parry Sound and other cities, and will reach the end of the tour with a last stop at Gleichen, Alberta on Dec. 19.
Additional information about the train’s schedule can be found at https://www.cpkcr.com/en/community/HolidayTrain.