The annual holiday train won't be rolling through central and upstate New York this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Canadian Pacific to halt the holiday train for 2020, which usually stops in Saratoga Springs and in the Adirondacks. Food will still be donated to community food banks and a virtual concert will take the place of the regular Holiday Train program.

“COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves,” said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel. “It is our honor to continue to donate to communities across our network this year, even if the train itself will not run. The spirit of the Holiday Train program and the Christmas spirit will carry on this year through our virtual concert. We will have the Holiday Train rolling again spreading Christmas cheer as soon as it’s safe to do so!”

The Holiday Train began in 1999, and every year since it has traveled across Canada and the northern U.S. raising money, collecting food and drawing attention to the important work of local food banks. In its first 21 years, the train has raised $17.8 million and collected 4.8 million pounds of food for local food banks.

Live music has always been part of the CP Holiday Train tradition. To maintain that tradition, CP will produce a benefit concert, with details to be announced when they’re available.

“We support CP’s decision to hold a virtual concert instead of hosting events that encourage local gathering, though we’ll miss the train’s bright lights and in-person shows,” said Kristine Martin, President of East Side Neighborhood Services, a Minneapolis-based Holiday Train beneficiary food bank.

The annual holiday train tour is expected to resume in 2021.