Holiday Express making stops in DeQuincy, Leesville

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, November 29, 2022

By Rita LeBleu

Enjoy A Railroad Town Christmas in DeQuincy. The Holiday Express pulls into town there on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m. and then it chugs north to the joy of children and adults alike in Leesville on Friday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m.

The six-car train is outfitted, inside and out, to transport visitors of all ages to Winter Wonderland. Led by Kansas City Southern’s Belle business train, the 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 — where kids can greet Santa.

In DeQuincy, the evening includes a festival-like atmosphere with vendors and entertainment, including Christmas choirs and Sondra Stark School of Dance dancers.

The Holiday Express was created in 2001 after volunteers dedicated more than 8,000 hours to the transformation of the previously retired rail cars. In 2000, KCS employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some children had, and that some did not even have essential items like coats, hats and gloves. KCS employees were so touched that they committed to elevating the project. Over 21 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.6 million.

In DeQuincy, the train will be at The DeQuincy Railroad Museum, 400 Lake Charles Ave., DeQuincy. In Leesville, the fun takes place Friday, Dec. 2, at the Leesville KCS Yard, 901 South Third St.