The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is chugging into the area Thursday, bringing music, spreading cheer and collecting food.
The 14-car train will arrive at the Cobleskill Fire Department at 610 Main St. around 3:45 p.m., the Main Street railroad crossing in Delanson around 5:15 p.m., the ALCO Heritage Museum at 1910 Maxon Road Extension Road Schenectady around 6:45 p.m.; and the Saratoga Springs Amtrak station around 8:45 p.m.
The goal of the train is to collect donations of food and money for local food banks. Items that are particularly needed are infant formula, canned meats and spaghetti sauce.
This is the second year the train will be stopping at the ALCO Heritage Museum. Previously, it stopped at the crossing over Maxon Road Extension. Museum Executive Director Jim Cesare said he is excited to welcome the train.
“It’s all decorated in tens of thousands of lights and LEDs. It’s very festive,” he said.
Mayor Gary McCarthy, U.S. Rep Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam) and representatives from the Salvation Army will be among the guests.
Musical entertainment will include performances by The Claytones and Canadian country music performer Tracey Brown.
“The car opens up and the stage rolls out,” he said.
Cesare is asking people to bring canned food items to donate.
The museum will open at 6:30 p.m. ahead of the train’s arrival. Rest rooms will be available to the public. Members of local Rotary clubs will be there to collect donations and sell hot chocolate, with the proceeds benefiting local food banks.
Schenectady Floor Coverings is a co-sponsor of the event.
Cesare said the train helps get people in the holiday spirit and aids the food pantries.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said.
At the Delanson stop, community collection bins will be available for new unwrapped toys, which will be donated to the Toys for Tots program.
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which begins its three-week journey on Wednesdayfrom Quebec, will visit more than 150 communities and end its run in British Columbia on Dec. 18.
Since the start of the program in 1999, the train has raised more than $6.4 million and collected more than 2.6 million pounds of food in Canada and the United States.
All the money collected at the train stops will be tallied and a matching donation of up to $250,000 will be provided by CP to Feeding America, whose member food banks are providing food and other supplies to those affected by Superstorm Sandy.