Join the Texas State Railroad for a magical ride aboard The Polar Express™
Each November, the Texas State Railroad transforms their Palestine Train Depot into The Polar Express™ and invites East Texans to aboard to storybook train for a trip of a lifetime to the North Pole.
This year I decided to take a special guest along, my 5-year-old nephew Bentley. If there are two things you should know about Bentley, it’s that he’s OBSESSED with trains and he LOVES Christmas. So this year his parents and me surprised him with his first trip on The Polar Express™, and it’s no surprise that he had the best night ever! Make sure you watch the video above to check out all of his reactions!
From November 16th until December 28th you have the chance to hop aboard The Polar Express™ and travel to the North Pole where a very holly jolly guest is awaiting you.
“The Polar Express is a magical journey that every child, young and old gets to experience,” said Daniel Adair, General Manager of the Texas State Railroad. “We recreate the magic that was created in the movie, with Tom Hanks and Eddie Deezen. They just did an amazing job and we just want to try and keep that caliber of meaning to the spirit of Christmas.”
The Polar Express™ adventure starts at the Palestine Depot, where the entire place is covered with Christmas lights. Children and adults are dressed in their Christmas pajamas and then invited to board the train.
“You know, you can wear you want, but we always encourage everyone to bring their pajamas,” said Adair. “Show up and get in the Christmas spirit and act like a kid because that’s really what it is. It brings out the child and every single one of us.”
Once on the train, The Polar Express™ storybook comes to life. There are dancing chefs bringing you hot chocolate and a sugar cookie, and a conductor passing through making sure you’ve got the golden ticket.
Then, you can sit and enjoy as the chefs read the children’s book aloud.
But don’t get too comfy so you can make sure you’re ready to peak out of the window to see the North Pole. You will see Santa’s Elves waving and dancing, then you will see Santa himself.
All tickets include a round-trip train ride (that lasts about an hour), hot chocolate, a sugar cookie, and a golden ticket. And, once you arrive at the North Pole, Santa hops on board and gives every passenger a silver bell. And if you believe in the spirit of Christmas, you’ll be able to hear the bell ring.
“We do still have some seats available,” said Adair. “The best chance you’re going to get to get tickets right now is during the week.”
Tickets start at $25 a child and go up depending on which train car you’d like to sit in.
You can purchase tickets by visiting the Texas State Railroad’s website, but you better hurry. They sell out quick.
“Texas State Railroad provides a truly positive economic impact to the City of Palestine by employing over 150 local, and surrounding area, high school students as LIVE story characters and staff assistants,” said Jennifer Price Dickson, Group Sales & Marketing Manager at Texas State Railroad. “In order to ensure the experience of over 60,000 passengers during The Polar Express™ these students go through a rigorous training of the official choreographed story re-enactment.”
All trains depart from the Texas State Railroad’s Palestine Depot located at 789 Park Road 70.
Click here to visit the Texas State Railroad’s website.
Texas State Railroad is aesthetically nestled within the pine and mixed oaks forest of East Texas, where summer gives gentle breeze and winter delivers a variety of cool comfort to beautiful snowstorms making each seasonal event picturesque. The heritage railroad takes passengers on a scenic journey where depending on the season, native wildlife and wildflowers can be admired. The longest of the rail journeys will traverse passengers 50-miles round-trip between the charming cities of Rusk and Palestine, Texas, crossing over 24 bridges to include the scenic Neches River bridge spanning 1,042 feet long and 35 feet high.
Known as ‘The Official Railroad of Texas’ with old-fashioned style in modern comfort, passengers can embrace the early days of this railway when history comes alive through narrative audio onboard.
Throughout the year, Texas State Railroad is complemented by events such as Chocolate Lover’s Train for the romance of Valentine’s month, Easter Egg Express, Memorial Day Brunch Train, Romance on the Rails Pints in the Pines beer tasting and Wines in the Pines wine lovers’ trains, and Pumpkin Patch Express Check our adventure at Romance on the Rails: Pints and the Pines and Pumpkin Patch Express.
Stay up to date on all things The East Texas Weekend!