Canadian Pacific Holiday Train coming back through area after two-year hiatus

After a two-year hiatus, the CP Holiday Train has returned, traveling across the upper Midwest and Canada, spreading holiday joy and collecting money and food for local food banks.

CP Holiday Train with headlight glowing.jpg
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is back on the tracks after a two-year break. The locomotive, which started in Maine, is currently traveling through Minnesota. It will make stops in Eden Valley, Glenwood and Alexandria on Dec. 14 and 15.
Contributed / Canadian Pacific Railway

GLENWOOD, Minn. — Christmas flair and celebration has returned to the Canadian Pacific Railway, as the CP Holiday Train makes its way across the upper Midwest.

The train has already arrived in Minnesota, having stopped in La Crescent on Dec. 7. It arrives in the Twin Cities area on Dec. 12, with its stop at the St. Paul Union Station scheduled for 6:45 p.m. that day.

The train will make multiple stops in the metro area before heading north and west.

CP Holiday Train during the day.jpg
The CP Holiday Train has been bringing season's greetings to communities across the United States and Canada since 1999. It also helps raise donations for local food shelves at each of the stops.
Contributed / Canadian Pacific Railway

Some stops around the Minnesota and North Dakota region include:

  • DEC. 11: 3:30 p.m., Amtrak Station in Winona; 5:30 p.m., Gambie Avenue railway crossing in Wabasha; 8 p.m. at CP Depot in Hastings.
  • DEC. 12: 5 p.m., Cottage Grove; 6:45 p.m., Union Station in St. Paul.
  • DEC. 14: 8:55 p.m., Eden Valley State Street South railway crossing.
  • DEC. 15: 10:15 a.m., Canadian Pacific station in Glenwood; 11:30 a.m., Eighth Avenue East railway crossing in Alexandria; 2:30 p.m., Detroit Lakes; 7:30 p.m., Thief River Falls.
  • DEC. 16: 4:15 p.m., Central Ave S. railway crossing in Elbow Lake, Minn.; 6:30 p.m., American Legion Parking Lot/Main Avenue railway crossing in Hankinson, N.D.; 9:05 p.m., CP Depot in Enderlin, N.D.
  • DEC. 17: Stops scheduled in North Dakota: Carrington, Harvey, Minot and Kenmare.
  • DEC. 18: 11:45 a.m., across the Canadian and North Dakota border in Portal, Saskatchewan.

While the train won't be stopping for a scheduled show, people will be able to see the train go through and around places such as Paynesville, Regal, Belgrade and Brooten. A full schedule of stops and a map can be found at .


There is also a second train that exclusively travels across the southern edge of Canada from Montreal to Vancouver.

"The Holiday Train is all about families and communities coming together to celebrate the season and help those in need. We are excited to be back out on the rails and in our communities, taking these two beautiful trains across our network and sharing the joy that comes with gathering in the spirit of giving," said Keith Creel, CP president and chief executive officer, in a news release about this year's train.

The CP Holiday Train is not just a train decked out in lights. It is a live holiday show with a host of performers singing at the various stops. From Iowa into Minnesota and North Dakota to the last stop in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Alan Doyle and Kelly Prescott will entertain the crowds. Prescott is a country music singer-songwriter from Ottawa, and Doyle is a folk-rock musician from Newfoundland. They'll be singing a mix of traditional and modern holiday songs, along with their own original songs.

The train shows are free, though CP asks for people to bring donations of either cash or non-perishable food for local food shelves, if they are able. Collection stations will be set up at each show. The money and food stays in the local communities.

CP Holiday Train show.jpg
In addition to the CP Holiday Train being decked out in lights, it also includes live musical performances by artists from the United States and Canada.
Contributed / Canadian Pacific Railway

The CP Holiday Train first rolled out of the station in 1999 and has collected more than $21 million and 5 million pounds of food for food banks across North America.

"This year, more than ever, the support, awareness and goodwill that the CP Holiday Train brings will make an impact beyond imagination to the food support programs of East Side Neighborhood Services," said Mary Anstett, vice president of community engagement for East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, in the news release. "With the support that Holiday Train brings in, we can rest assured that so many will have warm nutritious food on their tables in the coldest months."

Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States.

CP Holiday Train glows at dusk.jpg
Even when not making stops, the CP Holiday Train remains lit up as it travels along Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.
Contributed / Canadian Pacific Railway
CP Holiday Train.jpg
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which will stop in Eden Valley, Alexandria and Glenwood in Minnesota before heading north toward Thief River Falls, will be lit up for the season.
Contributed / Canadian Pacific Railway
CP Holiday Train front view.jpg
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train's United States leg began in Maine and it travels along the Great Lakes area and the upper Midwest, including Minnesota and North Dakota. The route will end in Canada.
Contributed / Canadian Pacific Railway

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

What To Read Next
Get Local