London - If you plan to be in the UK with your children over Christmas, what better way to get them into the festive spirit than by taking them on a ride on the Polar Express?

Inspired by the runaway hit film produced by Warner Bros Entertainment and the award-winning book by Chris van Allsburg, this special train ride is now available to the public.

The Polar Express train makes a mystical round-trip journey to the North Pole.

The characters of the story come to life with the conductor punching away at the children’s golden tickets, chefs dancing and delivering hot chocolate and cookies, and the doubting hobo wandering through the train.

The story is read aloud and the music from the movie plays for all the children to sing along.

At the North Pole, Santa anxiously awaits the children among the sparkling lights of his little city and climbs aboard to give the classic silver bell to all the believing boys and girls.

Officially licensed Polar Express train rides will run until December 30 on two rural heritage lines: County Durham’s Weardale Railway and Devon’s Dartmoor Railway.

Listening to the movie’s soundtrack, passengers will see their favourite characters come to life as they are whisked off to the “North Pole”, where Santa will greet children.

There are 5pm and 7pm departures throughout November and December. Prices start from £20 per adult (R284) and £15 per child aged two to 12. Call 08000 23 23 83 or visit – advance booking essential. - Sunday Tribune