Holiday train ride to benefit disaster victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Holiday train ride to benefit disaster victims

PALO (KWWL) – On Saturday, December 5 families and friends are invited to board Iowa Northern Railway Company's Hawkeye Express for a special, one-day fundraising event, known as the Palo Holiday Express.  The train ride will benefit the Rebuilding Palo Fund and the Benton County Disaster Coalition.

The Palo Holiday Express will run between Vinton and Palo, taking travelers on a unique train ride with holiday music and spirit. In Vinton, travelers will be greeted by Santa himself at the historic Vinton train depot and enjoy local music groups while enjoying a special holiday outing in Vinton's shopping district. Train passengers will also have the opportunity to visit Palo event vendors while young travelers visit with Frosty the Snowman.

"Last year we partnered with NextEra Energy Duane Arnold Energy Center to bring this special family event to areas that were severely affected by the floods of 2008," says Dan Sabin, President of the Iowa Northern Railway Company, "and the tickets quickly sold out. We're bringing back the Palo Holiday Express for a second year to further help Palo and Vinton, and allow those people who missed last year's event another chance at riding the wintry rails."

Funds raised from this event will be donated to the Rebuilding Palo Fund and Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition to assist with ongoing flood recovery efforts. Last year's event raised over $34,000 in ticket donations assisting individual businesses and home owners with funds for flood recovery assistance.

Iowa Northern Railway has donated its equipment and operating team for the event; Benton County Historical Society has donated the depot and volunteers for the event; and a team of NextEra Energy Duane Arnold Energy Center employees have organized the event and will help provide staffing for the day.

Tickets for the Palo Holiday Express are on sale now and are available at the Palo Mini Mart, the Farmers Savings Bank and Trust branch in Vinton, the Guarantee Bank branch located in the Blairs Ferry Road Wal-Mart, and at the Iowa Northern Railway Company corporate offices downtown Cedar Rapids. For additional information about this event, please visit

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