Last night (Dec. 17), I really got into the holiday spirit by taking my kids to Higginsville to see the Kansas City Southern Lines Santa Train. This train has operated for 13 years and its goal is to not only bring holiday cheer to those who visit it, but they also provide funds to the local Salvation Army at each of their stops along the way. The Holiday Express as it is called has raised over $1.2 million in funds since its inception in 2000 and they look forward to each year.

Many of the people around me said they came from Kansas City, Lee's Summit, Columbia, Warrensburg, Concordia and Higginsville to bring their family into a more festive spirit and to see Santa Claus by the Holiday Express. Families stood in line for almost a half hour at times to go through the holiday themed train cars.

The train is led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car “Rudy”; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a ginger bread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.

Kids were wowed at every corner of the Holiday Express. Higginsville was one of the last stops for the train this year, but it plans to be in Odessa, Mo. on Mason Street at 4 p.m. on Dec. 17 before it arrives to Union Station in Kansas City to be proudly displayed Dec. 18-22.