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Durango, Colorado has been called one of the country’s top Christmas towns, and one of the reasons behind that is likely its Polar Express train ride, hosted by the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, renowned for its historic expeditions on late 19th-century coal-fired steam-operated trains, built specifically to handle narrow mountain routes.
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The historic train has been in continuous operation between Durango and Silverton since 1882. From early May through most of October, it travels along the Animas River to Silverton and back, offering jaw-dropping mountain vistas through wilderness that’s inaccessible by any road while providing the chance to relive the sights and sounds of days gone past, chugging along at 18 miles per hour as it climbs the steep and magnificent passes.
Passengers have the chance to explore the tiny town of Silverton, that’s nestled between two rugged San Juan Mountain passes, Red Mountain and Molas. It hosts an impressive National Historic District and a number of interesting attractions, like the San Juan County Historical Society which is housed in the old county jail, the Mayflower Gold Mill National Historic Site and the Old Hundred Gold Mine, as well as a number of eateries housed inside Victorian-era buildings.
But, starting in mid-November, the Polar Express train ride offers passengers one of the most memorable ways to celebrate the holiday season, a journey to the “North Pole.”
One of the most popular events of the season in Colorado, the ride brings the award-winning The Polar Express book, authored by Chris Van Allsburg (and the movie starring Tom Hanks) to life, complete with Santa and all his elves, Hero Boy, Billy, the conductor, hobo and chefs.
Hop aboard and enjoy sipping hot chocolate and indulging in treats, while personal chefs read The Polar Express story on the way to the North Pole. The story ends just as the train pulls into its destination – the lights dim and Santa himself arrives to greet the children, visiting every car as the chefs lead everyone in singing Christmas carols on the journey back to Durango.
Truly one of the most memorable ways to celebrate the season, both kids and the kids-at-heart will love it, though it’s the young ones who’ll get a special gift from Santa too.
It all begins November 16 and will run through January 3, 2019. Be sure to get your tickets well ahead of time, as seats sell out quickly. You’ll have your choice of coach; deluxe, which includes a souvenir ‘The Polar Express’ Train Ride mug; or first class, where you can ride in style enjoying upgraded amenities and the special souvenir mug too.
Head to DurangoTrain.com for more details, or book your tickets immediately here.