The Texas State Railroad is inviting people to wear their pajamas and jump on board for a magical trip to the North Pole.

The organization’s holiday train excursion is themed after author Chris Van Allsburg’s award-winning story "The Polar Express." Trains will depart from the Palestine Depot starting Nov. 15 and continuing through Dec. 30.

On board, passengers will listen to actor Liam Neeson reading the classic story over the public address system while hot chocolate and cookies are served. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa Claus and his dancing elves will board the train and give each child a special gift as the train makes its way back to the Palestine Depot to the sound of Christmas carols being sung by young and old.

A dome car will be part of Polar Express again this year. These double-decker passenger rail cars offer an intimate experience on the lower level. Special winter wonderland-themed decorations and larger windows are the highlights of the upper seating area, 16 feet above the rails.

Christmas decorations will also adorn the Palestine Depot and, in the portico, Lee Loveless Photography will be offering commemorative photos. Mementos can be purchased in the gift shop. Food vendors will be on hand as well.

Special school runs are scheduled for Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 10 a.m. and noon.

"Last year we sold nearly 44,000 tickets during the six weeks of Polar Express, and had visitors from 35 states and three countries," said Janet Gregg, marketing manager for the Texas State Railroad. "It is a very special, memorable train ride for families to enjoy together."

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