Alison Krauss will be leaving the station Saturday to help deliver 15 tons of gifts, candy and clothes to thousands of children in Appalachia.
The bluegrass star will be riding the 64th annual Santa Train charity express as it rumbles along a 110-mile course with stops in 13 small towns in southern Kentucky and western Virginia before arriving back in Kingsport just in time for the Christmas parade.
Past participants include Naomi Judd, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, Kree Harrison, Rebecca Lynn Howard and scores of politicians.
Organizers say Krauss’ participation is especially fitting because her musical roots are so steeped in the traditions of this mountain region.
The trip is sponsored by railroad CSX Transportation of Jacksonville, Fla.; Food City Grocers of Abingdon, Va.; and the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce.
CSX President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward said the Santa train “deeply connects [the company] with the people in the communities through which we operate.”
“Having Alison Krauss with us this year,” he said, “makes it all the more special for everyone involved.”