KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
All aboard the Holiday Express!
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, a nationwide freight transportation company, has been running its Holiday Express for the past eight years to give members of the military and their families the experience of riding a train. Dec. 2 marked the second time the train made its way to Albuquerque.
Members from Kirtland Air Force Base and the New Mexico Army and Air National Guard received the opportunity to experience riding a passenger train, with the conductor punching everyone’s ticket and BNSF employees offering beverages and snacks to passengers.
The highlight of the event was when Santa Claus and an elf came through the many passenger cars. Santa offered Christmas cheer and gave each child a BNSF tree ornament, along with an opportunity to have a photo taken with him.
Those onboard were able to spend quality time with their families while making new friends.
BNSF not only offered an experience of a lifetime, but also gave charitable contributions to several organizations on Kirtland. A $2,500 donation went to the New Mexico National Guard Enlisted Association and was accepted by New Mexico Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Robson and New Mexico Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. William Griego.
BNSF Railway has supported the military for more than 150 years.
Since the Holiday Express’ inaugural trip, BNSF Foundation has donated more than $500,000 to organizations that support military members and families.
The Holiday Express is a private train converted for the holidays and other events BNSF hosts throughout the year. This special train can hold up to 400 passengers, along with 23 staff members.
The annual Holiday Express makes several stops. On this year’s route were Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and California, before heading home to Kansas.