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10:34 PM Sat, Oct. 20th

Tickets still available for Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express

FLAGSTAFF – Don’t believe the rumors, tickets are still available for Grand Canyon Railway’s 2005 presentation of The Polar Express. As of Nov. 9, Grand Canyon Railway still has approximately 7,000 tickets and seven nights available for Polar Express.

This is the fifth year that Grand Canyon Railway will bring the magic of the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg to life. What began as a weekend adventure with 5,600 people has grown into one of Arizona’s most treasured holiday traditions with more than 55,000 people traveling aboard Polar Express in 2005.

“We add something new each year to enhance the experience,” said Robert LaCivita, Polar Express committee chair and executive vice president of Grand Canyon Railway. “This year, we’ve expanded our holiday decorations at the Grand Canyon Railway campus and are further enhancing our North Pole with an aurora borealis effect. It’s going to be the most incredible season yet.”

The railway’s journey is a night-time trip from Williams through the starlit wilderness to the “North Pole.” Along the way, passengers are treated to a special reading of The Polar Express while enjoying hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.

Once at the “North Pole” – a Christmas light village featuring an aurora borealis – Santa Claus and his reindeer welcome passengers before boarding the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams. Once on board, Santa makes his way through the train, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift – a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus.

Grand Canyon Railway’s 2005 Polar Express kicked off Thursday and continues select evenings through Jan. 7. The round trip journey is approximately an hour in length. Most evenings, Grand Canyon Railway offers two Polar Express trains, with one departing Williams Depot at 6:30 and a second at 8 p.m.

Tickets are still available for the 2005 season. Grand Canyon Railway is also booking advance reservations for the 2006 season. With the flexibility of changing travel dates through March 2006, now is the perfect time to secure seats for the 2006 Polar Express. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-THE-TRAIN.

Families can also add a wintertime Grand Canyon experience aboard Grand Canyon Railway, which returns well in advance of the 6:30 p.m. Polar Express train. Recreating the historic trip by rail to the South Rim, Grand Canyon Railway covers 65 miles of classic Old West territory, including high desert plains with endless vistas, small arroyos and portions of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest.

Grand Canyon Railway operates daily train service between Williams and the Grand Canyon. The railway offers five distinct classes of service, as well as money-saving packages featuring the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams. Overnight stays at the Grand Canyon also can be included in the packages. Grand Canyon Railway is an authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service and the Kaibab National Forest. For more information on The Polar Express and Grand Canyon Railway, visit www.TheTrain.com or call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724).