The steam locomotive, the Empress, is driving through Portage la Prairie on Sunday. Terry Cuhna works with public relations for Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS), (CPKC) and says the train is rolling through. It won't be stopping in Portage, but there is an event in Winnipeg on Saturday, from 12:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon. 

"It'll be stopping at our railyard at 949 Jarvis Ave. We're excited about all the enthusiasm we're already hearing from the community, and we're looking forward to seeing thousands of people come out to see the Empress. It's arrived into Winnipeg Friday, coming back from Mexico City as it's been on a nearly two-month journey that started April 24th in Calgary, made it all the way down to Mexico City at the beginning of June, and now it's on its return journey with a stop in Winnipeg Saturday."

He notes it's in celebration of their first anniversary as a new company as of April 2023. CP finalized acquisition of Kansas City Southern. 

"So, to celebrate our first anniversary, we are touring across North America with the Empress, a 1930 steam locomotive that has been completely refurbished and has made 12 stops during its 9,000-mile journey to celebrate our anniversary and to showcase our history; both the CP and Kansas City Southern. It's to celebrate our future as a strong North American railroad company." 

It's called the "Last Spike" tour and that has a significant meaning.

"It was a signature moment where in Kansas City in April, our CEO hammered in a final spike that combined the CP rail network to the Kansas City Southern Network. It's just a a symbol to demonstrate the two networks joining together and by hitting that final spike, it formalized the combining of the two great networks into one, creating the new CPKC Rail network, the only rail network that could move from Canada all the way to Mexico City." 

The Empress is a 1930 steam locomotive that took two years to refurbish. Cuhna notes a dedicated team of eight individuals worked tirelessly for two solid years, bringing this very symbolic locomotive back into operation. 

"As you can appreciate, owning and operating a 100-year-old rail network, being able to bring back something from its history, is what we're doing with the Empress that operated from the 1930s and the 1960s across Canada. It has been refurbished to showcase the locomotives. When individuals come out on Saturday at our event from 12:00 to 4:00, they'll be able to speak and talk to the eight engineers who work very hard to refurbish the locomotive, see its re-creation and the symbolism, and how it's operated using water. They can just come out and celebrate and participate. For those individuals who have children, we'll also have our Puffer Belly Mini Training on-site, offering train rides for all of the kids."

It's on its way to Calgary where a museum is set up.