CP holiday train back to full strength

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by Emily Atkins

The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train program begins this week, with the first of two brightly decorated trains departing the Montreal area for the opening shows of the tour on Wednesday in Maine.

The holiday train is returning to in-person, live concerts along its route in 2022.

Over the next four weeks, the program will raise money, food and awareness for local food banks with 168 performances in two countries.

“The CP Holiday Train, now in its 24th year, celebrates family, community and service to one another,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “We hope the train’s bright lights and music foster celebrations across Canada and the U.S., bringing with those celebrations a reminder of our duty to help those less fortunate this holiday season.”

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train tours Canada and the U.S. in November and December raising money, food and awareness for the work that food banks do. Professional musicians play free half-hour concerts from the brightly decorated train’s stage.

CP makes a donation to the local food shelf at each stop and encourages attendees to also donate. Since its inception in 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $21 million and 5 million pounds of food for community food banks.

After two years of virtual concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CP Holiday Train program returns with in-person concerts, including shows for the first time in Maine and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. In the coming weeks, the two trains will make stops in communities on CP’s rail network in eight U.S. states and six Canadian provinces.

The CP Holiday Train will return to Kansas City’s Union Station for the first time since 2018 with a special show on Dec. 4. The final show of the 2022 tour will take place in Port Coquitlam, B.C., on Dec. 18.

“I have always had this someday dream of riding a train and playing some music and I can’t believe that’s actually happening this Christmas. I’m so excited for the Holiday Train,” said Tenille Townes, one of eight headlining musicians touring with the train.

“I can’t wait to see so much of Canada from the snowy window view and meet up with our friends coming to the shows we are playing all along the way. And it’s all in support of the food bank and making sure people are fed and taken care of this holiday season.”

A full schedule, map, live train tracker, photos and artist information are available at cpr.ca/holidaytrain.