Grand Canyon Railway's Polar Express starts Friday

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Polar Express begins running to the "North Pole" this Friday, with departures from the Grand Canyon Railway Depot in Williams.

Grand Canyon Railway will offer runs this year starting Nov. 7 and going through Jan. 3. Departure times vary depending on the day. Trains will depart at either 3:30, 5:30 or 7:30 p.m.

Closely following "The Polar Express" book by Chris Van Allsburg, this nighttime trip from the Grand Canyon Railway Depot in Williams travels through the starlit wilderness to the North Pole and features a special reading of "The Polar Express" while passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa Claus and Elf Bernard welcome passengers before Santa boards the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams. Santa makes his way through the passenger cars, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift - a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus. The roundtrip journey takes a little more than an hour.

Tickets are $34 for adults and $20 for children for the 3:30 p.m. matinee departure times. Tickets for the 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. departure times are $39 for adults and $25 for children. The tickets for the Christmas Eve Limited train ride include special gifts from Santa and cost $69 for adults and $49 for children.

Polar Express reservations can be made by calling (888) 848-3511 or by visiting www.thetrain.com.

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