Polar Express returns to V & T Railroad for 7th year

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MOUND HOUSE, Nev. (KOLO) Scenery and history are typically what you would associate with the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, but this time of year, things look, and sound, a bit different.

Every year since 2011, the railway is transformed into the Polar Express, giving children a chance to live out the story they likely were already familiar with. It was first made famous by Chris Van Allsburg with his hit book in 1985. It then became a 2004 movie starring Tom Hanks.

Dave Bell has been the conductor of Carson City’s Polar Express since its inception.

“I think the fun is the kids," Bell said. "Just watching them enjoy the trip, and watching Santa and believing in it.”

It’s not just a train ride, but rather a show, with characters from the book making appearances.

The train ride is unlike any other, but a lot like the book. and yes, that includes the refreshments

“You’re served hot chocolate and cookies by our dancing chefs,” said Candy Duncan of the V & T Railroad. “We read the story of the Polar Express as we ride through the night, and then we come around the bend and there we are at the North Pole.”

It’s quite apparent when you arrive at the North Pole, not only is it lit up, but Santa himself is waiting on the train’s arrival – boarding the train for the journey home.

After arriving back at the depot, those who made the trip had nothing but good things to say.

“The highlight was Santa coming into that car,” said Sam May, who took her two children on the train. That was the highlight of his life probably.”

“It just brought the book to life, it was magical,” said Katherine Mills, who made the ride with her husband and children..

Sisters Scarlet and Fionna Fierro were treated to a ride on the Polar Express by their parents, and when asked about their favorite part of the ride, they didn’t have just one answer.

“The hot cocoa, and the cookies,” said Scarlet. “And the bells,” added Fiona.”

Rides on the Polar Express will take place through December 30.