The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train is chugging its way across Canada, and will roll into Cochrane and Morley Dec. 13. “Expect to see a really beautifully lit-up train,” said Mallory McCredie, media relations advisor with CP. “It’s gorgeous, whether you’re seeing it in the day or at night.” According to McCredie, 2018 marks the 20th year the brightly-lit train has travelled across Canada and the United States – raising food, money and awareness for local hunger issues along the way. At each stop along the train’s cross-country route, community volunteers collect food and monetary donations. McCredie said CP co-ordinates with someone from the community – typically the mayor – to partner with a local food bank that is supporting families in the community. “The cool thing about it is that every pound of food and dollars raised at each of the stops stays within that local food bank,” McCredie said. “We understand that we’re not the experts in knowing where the food should be allocated within a community, but we do think it’s really important that any food or money raised by a community stays within that community.” Since the program began in 1999, the Holiday Train has raised more than $14.5 million and 4.3 million pounds of food. Each stop is also a great family event, McCredie said. The Holiday Train typically brings between 10 and 13 cars to each community, brightly lit with Christmas lights and designed into festive scenes guaranteed to dazzle young and old alike. The train will stop in between River and 4 Street, behind the provincial building in Cochrane. According to McCredie, Cochranites will enjoy a headlining performance from the Sam Roberts Band, who recently finished a stint on CP’s U.S. Holiday Train. Rounding out the lineup are Kelly Prescott and Tracey Brown. The train will arrive at 2:45 p.m., with the show running from 3 to 3:30 p.m. The train will then head directly to Morley, where it will stop adjacent to the Morley gas station. After arriving at 4:15 p.m., the show will start at 4:25 and wrap up at 4:45 p.m., with spectators enjoying the same group of performers. The side of the stage car will drop down and the performers will play an opening song to warm up the crowd, McCredie said. After a short thank-you speech from a CP representative, a local elected official and a representative from the food bank, followed by a cheque presentation from CP to the local food bank, the Sam Roberts Band will then come on stage for an approximately 20-minute performance, and by the end of the half-hour stop, the train loads up and rolls out of town. The donation amount to each local food bank will be a surprise at each of the stops, McCredie added. McCredie said it’s important attendees remember to keep a safe distance from the tracks when the Holiday Train is in town. “We want to make sure we’re having a really safe and fun event,” she said.