Colourful Holiday Train announces Dec. 15 stops in Shuswap

Canadian Pacific has announced dates for its annual Holiday Train. It will pass north of the Okanagan Dec. 15.

Pencil in these dates — with colourful marker or crayon.

Canadian Pacific’s Holiday Train — Canada’s own Polar Express — will pass through the Shuswap Dec. 15, making four stops between Sicamous and Notch Hill.

That’s the closest the train will come to the South Okanagan as it crosses the country to collect local food bank donations.

That’s a 230-km drive, but the experience — including the streaks of colourful light and musical entertainment — might make the car ride well worth the effort.

Climbing aboard the festively-lit, music-blasting express this year are Sam Roberts, Kelly Prescott and Tracey Brown.

The train makes a stop in Sicamous around 4:50 p.m., with music and other events between 5 and 5:30. It continues on to Canoe, arriving at 6:15 p.m., and Salmon Arm (7:30 p.m.) before stopping for the evening for a 9:10 performance at Notch Hill.

It continues on to Kamloops in the morning. A full schedule is available on the CPR website.

Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $14.5 million and 4.3 million pounds of food for North American food banks. Everything raised in a community stays in that community.

In addition, CP makes a donation at each stop.

There are two trains in Canada.

The Canadian train departs Montreal on Nov. 27 travelling west through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C. for it’s final show of the 2018 CP Holiday Train tour in Port Coquitlam on Dec. 18.

The U.S. train departs Montreal on November 25 travelling south with stops in Quebec, New York and Southern Ontario before continuing it’s journey through the U.S. and into southern Saskatchewan for its final stop in Weyburn, Sask. on Dec. 16.

Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 brightly decorated rail cars. The cars are decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights and holiday designs celebrating the spirit of the giving season.

Except when the U.S. Holiday Train clears U.S. customs, the Holiday Train lights are always on.

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