If you aren’t interested in trekking all the way to the North Pole this holiday season to meet Santa, then the Texas State Railroad has the answer. A local Polar Express train will be chugging out of the station at the Texas State Railroad’s Palestine, Texas, station, located just two hours from Dallas, from now until December 23.
The trip is a one-hour round-trip journey to the North Pole that recreates the magic of the Polar Express motion picture movie and classic Christmas book by Chris Van Allsburg. An inspiring adventure about a doubting young boy who takes a magical train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, in the book, the boy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
Passengers are asked to arrive in their pajamas at the train station and are greeted by characters from the film — the conductor, dancing and singing chefs and the hobo. As passengers make their way to the North Pole, they are served cookies and hot chocolate and the book is read over the sound system in the voice of Liam Neeson. Chefs hold up the books in the aisles so children can see pictures.
When the train arrives at the North Pole, which is lit up with twinkling lights, Santa and his elves board the train and ride back to the station with everyone onboard. Elves and chefs lead passengers in singing traditional Christmas carols as Santa makes his way through the train to visit each child and to give them the first gift of Christmas — a silver bell that only rings for those who truly believe.
Upon arrival at the Polar Express train station for embarkation, Beverly Burris, who handles Public Relations for the Polar Express experience, said the train depot is festively decorated with a Christmas tree and holiday decorations, in keeping with the Polar Express movie’s theme colors of blue and silver.
For most, the highlight of the journey will be when Santa and his elves board at the North Pole visiting with each child on the way back to the depot to deliver that special silver bell.
“The experience transports you into a key aspect of the story — the journey to the North Pole and is designed to suspend disbelief and submerge our passenger’s holiday magic for memories that last a lifetime,” said Burris.
The cost of the ride varies by date, ticket holder age and class of service, but tickets start at $20 up to $109. Departure times are at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The exact dates, fares and excursion times are available by visiting www.TexasStateRR.com/the-polar-express-train-ride or calling 877-726-7245.