MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – The 2022 Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express train kicked off on Friday, November 26 making its first stop in downtown Monroe.

This is the first walk-around tour since 2018, and it brought hundreds of people from all over the state. 

“My husband Neal and I, and Jean-Paul drove all the way from Baton Rouge to see the Christmas train,” said the visitor, Angela Lorio.

The festive, six-car holiday train made its stop in downtown Monroe at 4 p.m. bringing Santa Claus and his Elves with it. A holiday memory Lorio said she didn’t want to miss. 

“We want to kick off the holidays, and Jean-Paul just loves it. We like to make memories as a family.” 

“I’m really excited. I like to spend time with my family,” said 9-year-old visitor, Adilynn. 

Visitors had the chance to board the train and tour the inside through the three train cars. Each car had its own holiday theme.

“This is one of the things we’ve been wanting to do for years now. It’s 100% worth it,” said Trey Johnston, another visitor. 

The KCS Holiday Express train has been running and bringing smiles to thousands of people for 22 years. Santa’s right-hand man, Grant Temple Elliott, says KCS will continue to raise funds to give back to the community. 

“We collect donations for the Holiday Express throughout the year, and then, we split up those donations city by city to the Salvation Army. So, Monroe, Louisiana will receive a check from Kansas City Southern. 

The KCS express was free to the public and hopes to bring more smiles for years to come.