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How a Calgary photographer captures the Holiday Train

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the CPKC Holiday Train, which has raised almost $23 million for community food banks across Canada and the U.S. The Holiday Train’s 14 rail cars are lit up with hundreds of thousands of LED lights in vibrantly festive fashion and one such box car is set up as a folding stage for roaming musical performances!

The Canadian Holiday Train will be in Alberta from Dec. 6 through Dec. 12, 2023. Whistlestops include Camrose, Lacombe, Innisfail, Lethbridge, and Calgary. The U.S. train also loops up into the province on December 19 for stops in Medicine Hat, Tilley Brooks and Gleichen.  

Since 2014, Calgary photographer Neil Zeller has taken thousands of photos of the Holiday Train, both as an official photographer and as the guide of his Holiday Train Photography Chase. Neil spoke with host Lisa Wilton about the enduring appeal of the Holiday Train.