Each year, the train is decorated with Christmas lights and sets off on a journey to collect monetary donations and canned goods to feed the hungry.
The train has been operating since 1999, and has collected over 4 million pounds of food and $13 million (Canadian).
The train has a Canadian route, but stateside it is making stops in New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota.
It makes beautiful rainbows of light on the snow as it passes, creating a magical atmosphere.
— Neil Zeller (@Neil_Zee) December 13, 2016
This train is not one that you can ride, but it will be carrying some special passengers, however. Country musicians Terry Clark, Dallas Smith and Kelly Prescott will tour with the train and put on a show at each stop.
The show is free to the public but donations of money and nonperishable food are welcome. The holiday train concerts only last about 30 minutes, and it’s a very pop-up kind of event.
The train pulls into the station and lowers a door that doubles as the concert stage, and the band begins playing. Afterwards, food bank officials and local dignitaries greet the crowd and collect donations.
The quick format allows CP’s Holiday Train to make as many as six stops a day. All donations stay in the community where they are collected and go directly to the local food bank.
Canadian Pacific encourages attendees to look up the wish list of their local food banks. Also, it’s always a good idea to bring in healthy canned goods.
While spectators aren’t allowed to ride the train normally, Canadian Pacific is hosting a photo contest this year that earns the winner a $1000 donation to their local food bank and admission for four passengers to ride.