People were lined up all along Front Street Tuesday afternoon waiting for the KCS Holiday Express to open. By the time the train closed 1194 people had seen the beautiful Christmas display the railroad had brought to Coushatta.
The “early birds” had waited in line up to an hour and a quarter to come aboard. There was a steady stream of people bringing their children and grandchildren to view the train.
The Journal spoke with Santa’s Right Hand Man, Grant Elliott. He said, “Countless volunteers had spent countless hours to bring the train to Coushatta and other towns served by Kansas City Southern. I want to thank them for their effort and also thank the KCS Historical Society and KCS employees.”
Why do they do it? Elliott said, “Sometimes we forget why, then a few minutes ago I saw a little girl dancing and singing ‘boy I love Christmas’ and then I know why we do it. It is the joy we bring to children.” Elliott added, “This is our chance to partner with the Salvation Army to raise money so they can help families in need. This is my 15thHoliday Express season. For me it is a chance to give back.”
Santa rides along with the elves and KCS helpers on a special train. KCS no longer provides passenger service, however some of their finest observation, dining, and sleeping cars have been restored to house the crew. If you looked just north of Ringgold Avenue Tuesday afternoon you saw their crew train.
Check out the photo album accompanying this story. See if you recognize your friends and their children.