Polar Express Comes To Life In East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/23/07-Palestine

Polar Express Comes To Life In East Texas

Thanksgiving's over, so it's now time, if you haven't already, to get in the Christmas spirit.  What better way to do that then a trip to the North Pole.  That's right kids, the Polar Express is in East Texas thanks to the Texas State Railroad.  It's an event the railroad hopes will add to it's future.

It's a sound, workers at the Texas State Railroad's Palestine Depot have not heard in a while. The steam engine, they have all grown to love is back in their city.

"The train tracks have been repaired," yelled Santa Claus from the train.  Yes, Santa's right. After months of washed out tracks from July's rain, the train will finally run again, and what better time then for the Polar Express.

"If you've read the book in the past, even as an adult, if it's a book that you love, it just brings it to life," said Texas State Railroad Marketing Manager Lori Kastrop.  This is the Texas State Railroad's first year for the event.  Other railroad's have shared the Polar Express story to thousands of kids over the years.  Along with a reading of the book, kids will also get to sing songs from the movie.

"Once they arrive to the North Pole, Santa Claus is going to board the train and ride back with the kids to the depot, and he and his Elf's are going to pass out bells to everyone that believes," said Kastrop.  The railroad says it expects the event to be just as successful as Thomas the Tank Engine, which brought out 12,000 people to the Rusk Depot.  Despite recent news, Funding it had once expected may not be there to continue this piece of East Texas history, the railroad is staying positive.

"It's a great opportunity for the Texas State Railroad to say we are here, and we want to be here," said American Heritage Railways Vice President Paul Schrank.  "We want to tell people we are alive and kicking, and we love it here."  From Santa Claus, to the North Pole to some nice warm hot chocolate, the Texas State Railroad's Polar Express will surely be a big hit this holiday season.

The event starts this weekend and goes until December 9th, with three departure times on Friday and Saturday 5:10 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., and then at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday.  The Polar Express will run every day the week before Christmas.  Tickets are $16 for children and $24 for adults.  For reservations call 1-888-987-2461.

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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