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Canadian Pacific will not operate its annual Holiday Train tour this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class I announced last week.
Although train visits will not be part of this year's charitable program, CP will donate to food banks in communities along its rail network and host a virtual concert. The modified program will draw attention to food security issues, while ensuring donations go to all food banks that would ordinarily receive them, including those that typically host a Holiday Train event in alternating years, CP officials said in a press release.
"COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves," said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel. "The spirit of the Holiday Train program and the Christmas spirit will carry on this year through our virtual concert. We will have the Holiday Train rolling again spreading Christmas cheer as soon as it's safe to do so."
CP intends to resume operating the train tour in 2021, company officials said.
CP launched the Holiday Train in 1999. Every year since, the train has traveled across Canada and the northern United States raising money, collecting food and drawing attention to the work of local food banks. In its first 21 years, the train raised $17.8 million and collected 4.8 million pounds of food for local food banks serving communities along CP's network.