The possible cancellation of a Waterloo holiday tradition is bringing great disappointment to many of its residents. The annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train may not be lit as it passes through the town – and entire area – this year.
Norfolk Southern Railway announced Sunday that the Canadian Pacific train might remain “dark” as it traverses over Norfolk Southern lines due to concerns for safety and are asking crowds not to gather at the tracks.
A public relations representative for Norfolk Southern said it is Canadian Pacific’s decision whether or not to light the train.
The train has traveled through Waterloo for several years on its trek from Windsor to Chicago, gradually growing an audience of fans who parked and waited in their cars to see the beautifully lit train whiz past. The train is expected to come through Waterloo on its 20th annual trip to Chicago on November 30 after 10 p.m.
The town of Waterloo already had a block party planned for the event in which hundreds are expected to attend. Organizers say the party will still be held, even if the train isn’t lit.
“It will be disappointing,” said Waterloo Deputy Town Manager Pam Howard. “The Holiday Train is just exciting for all ages, because when the train is lit up and they slow down a little bit so you can just ‘ooh and ah’ over all the decorations that they put on the train. I mean it’s just really nice way to start the holiday season.”
They hope they can put pressure Canadian Pacific to light the train and keep the 20 year tradition going strong. The block party will be at the Waterloo Depot at 485 W. Van Vleek St.