Kansas City Southern Holiday Express returns after 2 year break

JOPLIN METRO AREA — The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express returns to the region! After a two-year hiatus due to health concerns the train formerly known as the “Santa Express” will make a stop in Pittsburg, Kan.

  • WHAT: KCS Holiday Express
  • WHERE: Pittsburg, Kan., Elm & Monroe
  • WHEN: Dec. 10, 4:00 p.m.
  • WHO: Santa and all his Reindeer!
  • WHY: Raise money for the Salvation Army in each area.
  • WHAT AGAIN?: Visitors can board the train, meet Santa and his Elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train.

After leaving Pittsburg the train travels north and will be stationed at home in Kansas City for viewing at the KC Union Station which is a destination for many to visit at Christmas.

During the visit to Pittsburg visitors can board the train, meet Santa and his Elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive, six-car holiday train with intricate displays inside and out. The train will visit children and families in 20 communities across 8 states!

The Salvation Army in each town will benefit. Over 21 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.6 million. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2022 KCS Holiday Express fundraising effort may donate here.

KCS Employees donate generously to kick off the campaign.


The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network bought by KCS in 1997. In 2000, a group of warm-hearted employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some kids did not have essential items like coats, hats and gloves, so they committed to elevating the project. In 2001, volunteers transformed a retired freight train to the KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands of people enjoyed for more than 20 years!

Stay with Joplin News First as we continue to cover Christmas events for you and your family to enjoy! Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.




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Rangeline bridge construction progress, crews begin pouring the concrete decking

JOPLIN, Mo. — Tuesday, November 1, 2022 contractor crews began the first pour of concrete on the bridge deck/driving surface of the Rangeline Road overpass of the Kansas City Southern Railroad.

Adam Fields, MoDOT Construction Inspector, tells KOAM’s Shannon Becker, “we are pouring the bridge deck right now, half of it. The other half will be done later this week or early next week depending on when they get the steel tied in. It is going good so far.”


The new bridge will feature sidewalks on both sides of the road that the previous bridge did not have, that will make it 15 feet wider.

Our cameras observed Joplin Concrete trucks arriving to the overpass from the north. Then a concrete pump truck placed the cement in forms of the bridge deck, looking almost like a long, skinny and scary finger.

“The contractor is working diligently to get this open as soon as possible and they are making pretty good progress on it. We just placed these girders 10-11 days ago and we are already pouring the deck on it.”


The bridge will be two feet higher and 27 feet shorter.

The scheduled completion date according to MoDOT and the contractor is December 16, 2022. See their FACT SHEET here on dates and details.

Bridge replacement Rangeline.



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Carl Junction railroad crossing closed another day

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Kansas City Southern have been making repairs along crossings off the west side of MO-171 in the last month. The main entrance to the city is closed for what officials are saying the last day.

But it’s a busy day in CJ. It’s Bulldog Homecoming.

The main entrance to Carl Junction will be closed for another day, Friday, September 30! Hwy. 171 & Z (Pennell).” — CJ SCHOOLS

The Homecoming Parade is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. be sure you have time to choose an alternate route.

Then tonight at 7 p.m. Nixa (5-0) with play under the Frisay Night Lights of Bulldog Stadium for the CJ Homecoming game.

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Historic Kansas City Southern Belle No.1 rolls through region; When the Belle stopped in 1969, the Joplin Union Depot closed

GOODMAN, Mo. — Monday we caught the Southern Belle No.1 of the Kansas City Southern Railroad traveling south through our region.

Sources tell us the train is traveling to different points south of Kansas City. There is a merger/purchase by Canadian Pacific of KCS that was approved last December but there are still some hurdles to cross.  Some CP cars are being pulled by the Belle.

The train spent time stopped in Pittsburg, Kan. Monday morning. It was spotted traveling through Joplin a little after 12:15 p.m. More information can be read here.


The Southern Belle was a named passenger train service offered by Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) from the 1940s through the 1960s, running between Kansas City, Mo., and New Orleans, La.

Joplin was one of the few stops on that route which began Sept 2, 1940 and ended on Nov 3, 1969. They included: Joplin, Texarkana, Shreveport, Alexandria, and Baton Rouge.

When the Southern Belle ended her route. That was the last passenger train at Joplin’s Union Depot which then closed the very next day. And it has continued to deteriorate for more than 50 years.

In late 2021 the Union Depot was placed on the Missouri Places of Peril list which includes endangered properties.

“It’s been here for over 100 years and people in the community have seen it sit empty since 1969 when the last train left the depot,” said Jill Sullivan, a member of the Endangered Properties program committee and  Executive Director of the Post Art Library. “I mean generations of preservationists and community members have been helpful to see something happen with the building and it’s pretty amazing that it’s just still there to begin with, that it survived urban renewal and other things that have happened over the decades in the city. And we’ve lost a lot of our historic buildings. But with Union Depot, it’s a very innovative building, it’s architecturally stunning, and the architectural design that Louis Curtis is known as the Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City. So it’s very significant in that.”

Now there are efforts underway, to bring new life to the building while preserving its historic significance. Read more here about possible redevelopment of the depot.

This KCS No.1 which is used for special occasions and celebrations. The train is based in Louisiana.


The last two years the KSC Holiday Express have taken a break due to COVID. But keeping our fingers crossed the train will run this Christmas season. Sources tell us there is no official schedule yet, but barring any COVID restrictions it will happen.

The train route is traditionally a fundraiser for the Salvation Army locations along the route. We will update information here on our news tab on KOAM News Now.

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Kansas City Southern exits CP deal to take CNI’s $34 billion

NEW YORK (AP) – Kansas City Southern has abandoned its agreement to be acquired by Canadian Pacific, choosing instead a competing bid from Canadian National Railway with a bigger price tag, but also greater regulatory risks.

The decision Friday comes one day after Canadian Pacific said that it wasn’t budging from its initial $25 billion buyout agreement made in March, even after Kansas City Southern said that a richer $33.6 billion bid from Canadian National appeared to be superior.

Canadian Pacific has consistently argued that a tie-up between Kansas City and Canadian National would have trouble getting approved by antitrust regulators and as recently as Thursday, said that it would not boost its original offer. Canadian Pacific has asserted that their combination with Kansas City Southern is most likely to get a green light from regulators.

U.S. regulators haven’t approved any major railroad mergers since the 1990s, and officials have said that any deal involving one of the handful of Class 1 railroads, a group that includes Kansas City Southern, must enhance competition and serve the public interest.

While Kansas City Southern is the smallest of the major railroads operating in the U.S., it controls key routes that connect the U.S. and Mexico, making it a very desirable prize and a potential antitrust hazard for a competing railroad that wants to own it.

The Surface Transportation Board has said it would consider whether any deal would destabilize the industry and induce more mergers. The board adopted tough rules for major railroad mergers after service problems developed after railroad mergers in the 1990s.

Kansas City Southern said for each share of its common stock, shareholders will get $200 in cash and 1.129 shares of Canadian National common stock. Kansas City Southern shares were up slightly Friday morning, to $295.62 per share.

In a letter to regulators Friday, Canadian Pacific said that it intended to proceed with its application for its approval to control Kansas City Southern based on its agreement from March.

CP Railway to buy Kansas City Southern in $25 billion deal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new Kansas City Southern deal creates the first railroad to link the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. has agreed to buy Kansas City Southern for $25 billion in cash and stock. The deal values Kansas City Southern at $275 a share, based on Friday’s stock prices.  Kansas City Southern shares closed at $224 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The acquisition would need the approval of a U.S. regulator, the Surface Transportation Board.  Analysts say this deal has a better chance of success than past failed ones because there is little overlap between the two railroads.

Morningstar analyst Matthew Young said he doesn’t think the proposed deal will hurt competition overall because the railroads don’t compete directly now.

The cash and stock deal announced Sunday is also set to capitalize on growing trade across North America by creating the first railroad that would link the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The companies say they expect the process to take until mid-2022. The combined company would operate about 20,000 miles of railway, employ 20,000 people and generate annual revenue of about $8.7 billion.

You can find more information from Canadian Pacific Railway here.