DSC_6397Long time readers (If I’ve got any left) will remember coverage of the Holiday Train going back to the days when CP was the sleepy big railroad where the Maintenance of Way staff tended the trackside grave of a co-worker who fell in the 1800s, the home office even has a museum, and they’d happily haul just one car or a unit train. Then came a chief executive who damn near throttled CP and a series of other railroads, he’ll remain nameless here as he’s passed on to the big model railroad in heaven and his “accomplishments” deserve no recognition. But his theory of “Precision Scheduled Railroading” lives on at too many railroads as they forsake growth and tell there customers when, how much, and for how much they can ship. Suffice to say, “precision Scheduled Railroading” has been a great success… For the trucking industry!

But you can’t keep a good railroad down, and CP Railroad Police are still a friendly bunch and the dispatchers still clear their busy single track mainline along the Mississippi twice daily so the Empire Builder can run on schedule. Couple years back they even sent a locomotive with not a single car of revenue freight to slowly roll by the burial of a child railfan.  And so the Holiday train lives on, though the bean counters no longer power it with the latest locomotive. As always, they pretty much shut the sub down as the Holiday Train passes through with every available Canadian Pacific employee out providing hospitality and assuring a safe trip.


And while they say the internet has shrunk live performances, the audience was big as ever- Years ago I noted that the Holiday Train seemed to draw a crowd of around 500 whether in a town of 50 or city of 500,000, but this crowd looked to be at least a thousand strong. Many of that thousand brought hefty bags of food donations and Canadian Pacific cut their usual big check to the local food shelf too. So in it’s 21st year the Holiday Train rolls on, better than ever!

Oh, and here’s a link to CP’s new Holiday Train tracker