The CP Rail Holiday Christmas Train has been an annual tradition for many, since 1999. CP Rail (Canadian Pacific Rail) is a freight train company, moving cargo around Canada & the USA. The Holiday Train is a train made up of about 10 or 15 train cars, all fully decorated with Christmas lights! Most of the train cars are box cars, and on one of them, the side of the box car folds out, transforming it into a stage. From there, a band comes out onto the stage, and plays a live concert for people in various communities, right from the railroad tracks! The bands aren’t usually that big, but hey, it’s a free concert with a cool way of performing.
My family would always make it a habit of going to the train when it pulled into the station near our house. There would always be free hot chocolate, freezing cold temperatures, and a beautiful array of Christmas lights. I remember one year, we wanted to go see the train, but it was a torrential downpour of rain. My dad suggested that we drive along the road that runs parallel to the tracks, just east of where it would be stopping. Sounded like a good plan, we could stay dry, but still get to see the lights roaring down the tracks. We were driving down the road, and could see the train coming in the distance. “There it is!” we screamed with joy. There are two sets of tracks next to that road, right beside each other; and we were on the south side, but still right next to them. The Christmas Train was on the North set of tracks. We pulled over to the side of the road and peered through our car windows. But just as it was coming into view, another train going the opposite direction came on the South set of tracks, which happened to be right next to us. The same side we were on….The oncoming train completely blocked our view of the lights, which more or less ruined the entire evening. I can’t remember what exactly happened after that, but I know that we never tried to do that again!
For the full schedule and list of stops, visit the CP Rail Holiday Train page.