Sleigh Bells Ring in Appalachia

mpfdevBranding, Community Relations, Digital Media, Event Management, Graphic Design, Internal Communications, Media Relations, Research and Analytics, Services, Strategic Communications Planning

The CSX Santa Train is a cherished tradition that ushers in the holiday season for thousands of Appalachian families. Each year, Santa and a slew of helpers from CSX and partner organizations distribute more than 15 tons of toys, fresh fruit, warm clothing and gifts along a 110-mile route that spans Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

MP&F has collaborated with CSX on the Santa Train for more than a decade. The strategic communications partnership has yielded thousands of media stories, an engaged social media audience, and successful partnerships with a number of special guests, including Amy Grant, Ricky Skaggs, Thompson Square, Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, The Judds, Darryl Worley and Alison Krauss.

2017 GOALS

  • Secure a celebrity guest to ride the train.

  • Secure national media coverage.

  • Grow social media following by 5 percent across all channels.


  • Appalachia native and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs rode the Santa Train and performed in Kingsport, Tenn.

  • Our team secured national media coverage in Southern Living and Billboard.

  • The Santa Train social media following grew by 9 percent across all channels.

new followers on social media channels
growth in social engagement
positive media stories