2011 CP Holiday Train launches U.S. food shelf blitz

Nov 25, 2011, 13:00 ET from Canadian Pacific

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Nov. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Canadian Pacific's cross-country and cross-border food shelf drive has launched its 13th year of raising money, food and awareness.

The CP Holiday Train, North America's longest-running rolling fundraiser, has become an annual holiday tradition for many food pantries. Two freight trains, both decked out in thousands of feet of festive lighting, roll into communities on both sides of the border with entertainers performing from a boxcar that has been converted into a mobile stage.

The U.S. Holiday Train kicks off its unique journey across eight U.S. States in the Northeast and Midwest with the first stop at Rouses Point, New York this evening and then wrapping up at Carpio, North Dakota on December 16th.

The Canadian train heads out on Sunday, November 27th with communities - large and small - on its route through six provinces.

Since 1999, the CP Holiday Train has entertained thousands while raising about $5.6 million and collecting over 2.5 million pounds of food for local food shelf programs.  For many food pantries along the way, this is their major fundraiser for the next 12 months. In all, the two specially-decorated trains will visit about 150 communities with everything collected at each stop staying in that community for local distribution.

Bringing holiday cheer and the important message of supporting food shelves in the United States will be veteran Milwaukee folk-rocker Willy Porter, along with Nashville country-music recording artist Sydney Grigg. On the Canadian Holiday Train, crowds will experience Canadian music legend Valdy. Joining Valdy will be young Ottawa rockers, Brothers Dube' and Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer Tracey Brown.

The 2011 CP Holiday Train schedule, musician bios and other information is on cpr.ca. As well, both Holiday Trains can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter (@CPHolidaytrain).

Editor's Notes:


  • Planning for the Holiday Train begins at least seven months prior to the fundraising kick off. This is a grassroots employee effort. Thousands of CP workers volunteer for the special fundraising journey every year - many taking their vacations to work on each train - from train assembly to operations.

  • Two Holiday Trains raising awareness and collecting money and donations for hunger relief, crossing eight US states and six Canadian provinces for a combined distance of about 10,000 kilometers (approx. 6,000 miles).

  • The two trains will visit close to 150 communities in Canada and the United States Northeast and Midwest, in addition to many other stops along the way.

  • Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 decorated rail cars, including a modified box car that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers.  They are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED Christmas lights. Both Holiday Trains are powered by GE-built 4,400 hp high-performance locomotives with four diesel generators to power the light systems.

  • In addition to an even brighter train, this year's Holiday Train program features an interactive website where you will be able to read stories. Visit www.cpr.ca . As well, join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain

Fun Facts:

  • Since 1999, we've traveled about 100,000 miles on the Holiday Train - enough to go around the world more than 3 and a half times

  • It takes 30 "CP elves" 100 days to completely transform and decorate the Holiday Trains before they start their journey across Canada and the U.S.

  • More than 100,000 lights glimmer across the Holiday Trains in Canada and the U.S.

  • CP has donated 40,000 pins to help Food Banks in Canada in the U.S. raise $200,000

Editor's notes:

SOURCE Canadian Pacific

Video with caption: "2011 CP Holiday Train - Making a difference, one stop at a time". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111125_C9289_VIDEO_EN_7250.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111125_C9289_PHOTO_EN_7250.jpg&clientName=Canadian%20Pacific&caption=2011%20CP%20Holiday%20Train%20%2D%20Making%20a%20difference%2C%20one%20stop%20at%20a%20time&title=CANADIAN%20PACIFIC%20%2D%202011%20CP%20Holiday%20Train