The Polar Express Makes a Stop in Palestine

by:  Brad Hlozek

PALESTINE, TX  (KTRE) - With a chill in the air and Christmas around the corner, several East Texas kids caught a glimpse of the Polar Express and then proceeded to pay Santa an early visit.

It is something relatively new that the Texas State Railroad has added in the past couple of years.

"Last year was our first event," said Lori Pennington, Marketing Manager of the Texas State Railroad.  "We had over 19,000 visitors to the Texas State Railroad from 19 states, so it was a very great first year."

Maybe you've seen the movie or read the book called "The Polar Express." Now, you can re-live the experience right here in East Texas.

"It's based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg," says Pennington. " And so the chefs pass out the hot chocolate.  And then you ride out to the North Pole and Santa gets on board the train and rides back to the Depot and passes out a bell to everyone who believes.

"It's a neat experience, a wonderful memory and Christmas experience."

The journey begins in Palestine as the Polar Express then proceeds to the North Pole.  Once there, the kids have the opportunity to meet Santa and his helpers.

So far, over 24,000 tickets have been sold and those numbers continue to go up each day as word begins to spread rapidly.

There are several shifts that run daily, both during the day and at night.

If you'd like to sign up, you can go to to purchase tickets.  For more information about the ride itself, check out