Canadian Pacific Railway "Holiday Train" Heading For Steamtown National Historic Site

A brightly decorated Canadian Pacific Railways train will roll into Steamtown National Historic Site on November 26 as part of a food drive. Scott Snell for Canadian Pacific Railway via NPS.

International good will is scheduled to roll into Steamtown National Historic Site late this month when a Canadian Pacific Railway "Holiday Train" comes to visit as part of a food bank drive.

The Holiday Train is scheduled to visit northeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 26, at the historic site in downtown Scranton from 5:45 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., and visitors are advised to plan to arrive at least 15-30 minutes early. The train will then depart Scranton for Binghamton, New York, on the former Lackawanna Railroad's mainline, expecting to cross the historic Tunkhannock Viaduct between 7 - 7:15 p.m.

Now in its 13th year of operation, the CP Holiday Train program has raised more than $5.6 million and almost 2.5 million pounds of food donations for local food banks nationally. In 2010, the train collected more than 2,000 pounds of food and collected $433 in cash donations. There also was a CP corporate contribution of $1000 to the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Thousands of people gather trackside at depots, railroad crossings, and other unusual venues along CPR's route to enjoy the arrival of the brightly decorated train lighting up the winter night at Steamtown NHS. Musicians, who ride in vintage private cars at the end of the 14-car train, hop out and climb aboard a boxcar in the middle of the train that opens to reveal a stage where they will perform a live holiday concert and invite visitors to sing along.

Headlining this year's musical spirit of the season is Willy Porter, a top-10 staple on Triple AAA radio stations across the country. Porter has toured the country with legendary entertainers like Paul Simon, Sting and Jethro Tull. Accompanying Porter is Canadian born singer songwriter and country and folk musician, Sydney Grigg.

This year, the CP Holiday Train is launching an activity program aimed to increase awareness of hunger issues by making children part of the solution. "Decorate & Donate" is a fun and educational way for schools and families to help feed their communities.

It's easy to participate:

1. Print and decorate one or more of the Holiday Train designs available at the CP Holiday Train website (www.cpr.ca - click the Holiday Train link and click on "Decorate & Donate" on the right side of the screen). The more creative, the better!

2. Wrap your art around an empty box, big or small, to be filled with food or cash donations.

3. Take a picture of your artwork and send it to the CP Holiday Train web site - they will post it for you on the CP Holiday Train "Decorate & Donate" photo gallery.

4. Bring your filled "Decorate & Donate" boxes to the CP Holiday Train at Steamtown NHS on November 26 and present them to the United Neighborhood Centers representatives.