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Press Releases

Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train Returns for 16th Year to Delight Area Families with Magical Holiday Experience

Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train Returns for 16th Year to Delight Area Families with Magical Holiday Experience

Free to Climb Aboard at Union Station and Tour,
Friday, December 16 – Tuesday, December 20

KANSAS CITY, MO (December 14, 2016)  – Kansas City’s favorite holiday train, the Kansas City Southern (KCS) Holiday Express, will roll into Union Station on Friday, December 16 and will remain through Tuesday, December 20.  Guests can meet Santa Claus and tour the train filled from floor to ceiling with holiday decorations and toy trains. As always, tours are free and general admission is available every day.

The KCS Holiday Express journeys across 7 states and 22 communities in total for this 2016 tour. And as is tradition, Union Station is honored to be the last and largest stop.  In 2015, more than 28,000 enthusiastic Kansas City children, parents and grandparents visited. 

Led by the Southern Belle business train, the KCS Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car “Rudy”; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. 

“Every year, the KCS Holiday Express train is just another reminder of how magical the holidays are here at Union Station,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, said.  “Thousands of Kansas Citians come to see this enchanting train.  I’d venture to say it’s one of the most sought out holiday experiences in the area, and best of all it’s free and combined with the stunning beauty and holiday festivities all around Kansas City’s home for the holidays, Union Station.” 

The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network purchased by Kansas City Southern in 1997.  In 2000, KCS employees noticed the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and some did not even have essential items like coats, hats and gloves.  KCS employees were so touched they committed to elevating the project.  Since its beginning in 2001, the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $1 million to purchase gift cards for this cause. 

“The KCS Holiday Express is an important project for our company and a joyful way to give back to the communities through which we operate,” Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, KCS President and CEO, said.  “It’s great to see the smiles on the faces of visitors to the train.  As always, we are grateful to our generous employees, vendors and friends, who donate their time and make charitable contributions to make the holidays shine even brighter.” 

Mark your calendars to stop by – FREE OF CHARGE – and visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves.  Then, climb aboard and walk through one of Kansas City’s favorite family traditions (and wish Rudy a very happy 16th birthday while you’re here)! 

General Admission is always available, and dates and times to tour the Holiday Express (and visit Santa) are as follows: 

Friday, December 16: 2 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, December 17: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 18: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Monday, December 19: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, December 20: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Union Station officials encourage visitors to arrive early to minimize their wait time.  They also note event parking applies to all Station lots during the weekends – including Monday and Tuesday, December 19 and 20 – through January 2.  This expedites entry, parking fee collection as well as exit from the complex.

For a complete schedule of events for Union Station’s Holiday Celebration – “Holidays Come Alive” – please visit For more on KCS’ Holiday Express train, visit  


About Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
Union Station Kansas City — a 501(c)3 non-profit organization — is a 100-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. The organization — dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history — is home to Kansas City’s Science Center; the popular Model Railroad Experience; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses, and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility regularly hosts community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Also recently voted “Favorite Landmark or Monument” in the 2016 KC Visitor’s Choice Awards. Visit for details. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 

About Kansas City Southern
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City Southern is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. Its primary U.S. holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, serving the central and south central U.S. Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., serving northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal. KCS’ North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a NAFTA Railway system, linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

December 14, 2016

Michael Tritt, Union Station / 913-219-6890 / [email protected]
Doniele Carlson, Kansas City Southern / 816-983-1372 / [email protected]