Diana Hillocks gets a cookie and a hot drink while waiting for the CP Holiday Train last year. The treats raise money for the local South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society Food Bank in Ashcroft. E. Fry Society members are also on hand to accept direct donations of food or cash.

Diana Hillocks gets a cookie and a hot drink while waiting for the CP Holiday Train last year. The treats raise money for the local South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society Food Bank in Ashcroft. E. Fry Society members are also on hand to accept direct donations of food or cash.

CP Holiday Train arrives in Ashcroft Dec. 14

Grab your boots and mittens and round up your Food Bank donations.

Canadian Pacific (CP) is all set for the 15th year of the Holiday Train, and it will be bringing its Christmas Cheer to Ashcroft on Sat., Dec. 14 this year.

Earlier in the evening, at 5:30 pm, the train pulls into Kamloops – north side of Interior Savings on Lorne St.; it moves on to Savona at 7:30 pm – Savona access road and Park Lane; and then it’s off to Ashcroft at 9 pm, in the lot next to Fields on Railway Ave.

The following day, Dec. 15, it travels to Lytton at 1:30, where it will stop at the CP TMS building on Station Rd.

The complete schedule, available on CP’s website at www.cpr.ca and on CP’s Facebook page, outlines plans for the ‘train of lights’ to partner with communities in raising food and money for local food banks.

The 2013 CP Holiday Train embarks on its three-week journey on Nov. 25 from Beaconsfield, Quebec, finishing up in Port Coquitlam on Dec. 16.

The Canadian train features Melanie Doane with special guests Doc Walker,  Brothers Dube, Crystal Shawanda, Jim Cuddy, and Matt Dusk.

Since the Holiday Train program first launched in 1999, it has raised $7.4 million and three million pounds of food for local communities.

Musicians traveling aboard the trains will play more than 150 free concerts from their boxcar stage.

CP asks that attendees bring a non-perishable food or cash donation, and all donations stay with the food shelf in the community where they’re donated. Items like infant formula, canned meats, and spaghetti sauce are in particular demand for the millions of North American’s who turn to food banks each month.

This year, CP will be sending paper grocery bags to the local elementary schools in the hopes that the students will place food donations in them and bring the bags with them when they come to see the Holiday Train.

Each Holiday Train consists of 14 brightly decorated railcars, including a modified boxcar that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers. For the 15th year, CP’s elves have updated the thousands of LED  lights that adorn the sides of both trains with new holiday designs.

For additional information, photos, a route map, and downloadable pictures of the two trains, visit: www.cpr.ca. Supporters can also join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain #CPHolidayTrain