VIDEO: CP Holiday Train Attracts Hundreds Of Families Downtown

Hundreds of families swarmed the Canadian Pacific rail-yard in downtown Windsor for a glimpse at the CP Holiday Train, Santa, hear some music, and support local food banks Thursday night.

One of two trains — making their nineteenth journey across Canada and the US to spread holiday cheer — made a pit stop in Windsor on its way to Illinois.

Downtown resident Jeffery Hillier is starting a tradition for his six-month-old granddaughter Aliyah. He says the family has made it down the past three years, but her first time is something special.

"We wanted to get some pictures with her on her first Christmas down here at the train," says Hillier. "It's a really neat thing that CP does because it brightens up the whole community when they start finally getting into the Christmas spirit."

Hillier, his wife Barb, and Aliyah’s mom Brandy, pushed through a crowded rail-yard to get close to Santa and a performance by Blue Rodeo front-man Jim Cuddy.

"It's a nice environment, it's really crowded and stuff, but you've got the food-bank down here where donations are coming in, so it's a good thing," he says.

Even though a Canadian music legend performed at the event, Maddox Reaume only wanted to see one star.

"We saw Santa Claus and took a picture of him," shouted Reaume.

With Maddox and his three brothers in tow, dad Gerry Reaume says it was a great time for everyone.

"They love to people watch, so all the people here are great, the lights are fantastic, and they got to see Santa Claus and that was their biggest thing," Gerry says. "I just love seeing a smile on my kids’ faces."

More than $13-million and 4-million pounds of food have been collected on the holiday train's travels over the years.

The Windsor-Essex County Food Bank Association received a $7,000 donation from CP Rail at the event. No word on how much food was collected, but organizers say the big weigh-in will be sometime Friday.