Before you know it, Christmas will be here. (Yeah, we all know Thanksgiving is just a holiday speed bump.) And one of the coolest holiday traditions is coming back to Louisiana -- the Holiday Express Train.

For the last 25 years, the CPKC Holiday Train has delighted thousands of kids and adults alike in Canada and the United States.

CPKC is the combination of two historic railways -- Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS). It is the first single-rail network connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

This year, the train will be running from November 20 through December 19, raising money, food and awareness for the important work that food banks do in their communities.

Professional musicians even play from the brightly decorated train's stage.

CPKC makes a donation to the local food shelf at each stop and encourages attendees to also donate.

Since its inception in 1999, the CPKC Holiday Train has raised more than $22.5 million and more than 5 million pounds of food for community food banks across North America.


Where can I catch the Holiday Express rolling through Louisiana?

If you live in the Bayou State, you are in luck, because the train will be making a total of 10 stops across the state.

Below is the schedule of Louisiana stops for the CPKC Holiday Train. The event runs from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at each stop.

Tuesday, Nov 28 - Monroe - North 3rd St. and Desiard St.

Wednesday, Nov 29 - Laplace - Along railway track at 529 Hemlock St.

Thursday, Nov 30 - Gonzales - Along railway track at Felix Ave. and East Ascension St.

Friday, Dec 1 - Baton Rouge - Railway tracks at Government St. and South 15 St.

Saturday, Dec 2 - Pineville - Along railway track at 901 Melrose St.

Saturday, Dec 3 - Coushatta - Along railway track at Front St. between East Carroll St. and Alonzo St.

Saturday, Dec 9 - Zwolle - Railway station N Main St. between Obrie St. and Port Arthur St.

Sunday, Dec 10 - Leesville - CPKC yard, 901 South Third St.

Monday, Dec 11 - DeRidder - Along railway tracks 120 South Washington St.

Tuesday, Dec 12 - DeQuincy - Railroad Museum, 400 Lake Charles Ave.


The event at each location is free to attend.

Here's a little more about what each Holiday Train event is like:

  • The train arrives and pulls to a safe stop in front of the crowd.
  • The stage door lowers and the band opens with its first song, followed by a brief presentation with the local food bank officials and other dignitaries on stage.
  • Once the presentation is done, the band resumes the show, singing a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs and popular original songs.
  • After the final song, the boxcar door closes and the train is on its way to the next stop.

To learn more about the CPKC Holiday Train, visit this site.

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