It was a night filled with holiday cheer.
Hundred of Londoners gathered by the train tracks on Richmond Street Wednesday night, waiting with anticipation for the arrival of the CP Holiday Train.
“It’s fun and festive. My wife and her friend usually come every year, and I decided to join them this year. It’s great, it’s a lot of fun,” said Sarvat Tahir.
The brightly decorated rail cars drew families and friends alike. For some, it’s become a tradition.
“Our son loves trains so that’s why we’re here. We’ve come every year since he was born,” said Shelley Hill.
The train chugged along playing Christmas tunes, before coming to rest on the tracks just south of Oxford Street. After giving the audience enough time to enjoy the lights display, the final rail car opened up to reveal the evening’s entertainment. Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy, and Kelly Prescott performed Christmas songs from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Two holiday trains — one in Canada, and one in the U.S. — spend three weeks making stops in communities along CP’s service area, offering free concerts and collecting donations that stay in local communities.
While some are holding true to old ways, others were starting new traditions.
“None of us have seen it yet. Not me, not my wife, not our four kids. They’re all old enough, and they’re all excited about Christmas, so [we thought it would be a good idea] to go see the Christmas train,” said Mike Stelpstra.
Since the program started in 1999, both trains have covered more than 160,000 kilometres and raised close to $12 million and 1.7-million kilograms of food.
– With files from Liny Lamberink
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