The Canadian Pacific Railway's U.S. Holiday Train made its goodwill journey for food shelves across the United States Nov. 28, departing from the Steamtown National Historic Site for Binghamton, N.Y., crossing the historic Nicholson Bridge (also known as the Tunkhannock Viaduct) on its way.
Now in its 14th year of operation, the Holiday Train program, powered by an army of employee volunteers, has raised more than $6.4 million and almost 2.6 million pounds of food donations for local food banks nationally. In 2011, the train helped raise more than 4,000 pounds of food and collected $1,500 in cash donations, in addition to a CP corporate contribution of $1,000 to the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeast Pennsylvania.
Each year, thousands of people gather trackside at depots, railroad crossings and other unusual venues along the route to enjoy the arrival of the brightly decorated train lighting up the winter night at Steamtown National Historic Site. The musicians, who ride in vintage private cars at the end of the 14-car train, hop out and climb aboard a boxcar in the middle of the train that opens to reveal a stage where they will perform a live holiday concert and invite visitors to sing along. This year's entertainers included The Claytones and Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, Tracey Brown.