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Sun, Oct. 24

Grand Canyon Railway gears up for busy holiday season

Every evening the Polar Express train departs the Williams Train Depot for its magical journey to the North Pole. Conductors, engineers and many talented chefs and supervisors help make this journey possible.
Photo by Loretta McKenney.

Every evening the Polar Express train departs the Williams Train Depot for its magical journey to the North Pole. Conductors, engineers and many talented chefs and supervisors help make this journey possible.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — In an effort to focus their attention on the Polar Express, Grand Canyon Railway will not be operating the Pumpkin Patch Train this season.

“Due to the resource limitations most businesses are experiencing due to COVID, we’re focusing our time and attention on making the 2021 Polar Express season the most magical one ever for our guests,” said Hinch Knece, Western Regional Director of Marketing for Grand Canyon Railway.

According to Knece, ticket sales for the Polar Express are already ahead of last year.

“We anticipate our 21st Polar Express season will be busier than 2020, and ticket sales are currently pacing ahead of last year as well — 60 percent of tickets available in 2021 are already sold,” he said.

The winter themed Polar Express train kicks off Nov. 13. The Polar Express runs through the holiday season with the last run Dec. 30.

Grand Canyon Railway is offering Polar Express at a variety of times throughout the week, departing the station at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The ride last approximately 90 minutes.

The Polar Express train is based on the book “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. The 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.

In addition to the Polar Express, Grand Canyon Railway is offering several packages and discounts including a Southwest resident train-only and a Fall Getaway Package.

“We will continue to offer our Fall Getaway Package and our Arizona/southwest resident train-only discount through November,” Knece said.

According to Knece, the Pumpkin Patch Train may return in 2022.

More information or to make a reservation is available from Grand Canyon Railway at www.thetrain.com.

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