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Polar Express holiday kick-off includes selection of youth guest train conductors, vouchers for veterans, military

Santa greets Arlinda Birdsall and her triplet grandchildren Nick, Luke and Kate during a session kicking off the Saratoga & North Creek Railway’s 2012 Polar Express excursions running from Nov. 15 through Christmas. The round trips to ‘the North Pole’ feature singing elves, dancing chefs and retelling of the classic children’s holiday tale. This year, older children will have the chance to be chosen as Junior Conductors for one of the trips.

Santa greets Arlinda Birdsall and her triplet grandchildren Nick, Luke and Kate during a session kicking off the Saratoga & North Creek Railway’s 2012 Polar Express excursions running from Nov. 15 through Christmas. The round trips to ‘the North Pole’ feature singing elves, dancing chefs and retelling of the classic children’s holiday tale. This year, older children will have the chance to be chosen as Junior Conductors for one of the trips. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Santa boards the train at the North Pole to greet passengers and all children receive the “Silver Bell” made famous by the treasured tale. Children and family members are invited to attend in pajamas.

The one-hour trips are taken daily at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily (except for Monday) from Nov. 15 through Nov. 30 — but not on Thanksgiving Day— then Dec. 1 through Dec. 22, plus Dec. 23, 27 28 and 29.

Boarding is at the Saratoga Springs Train Station, 26 Station Lane. Premium tickets include a commemorative mug. Prices range from $15 to $50 depending on age and class of service.

The Saratoga-North Creek Railway also offers scenic trips to North Creek and back throughout the year, as well as special dinner excursions and “Snow Train” service that transports skiers in style from the Capital Region to Gore Mountain — as well as various small towns along the way.

For details on schedules, events, services and pricing, visit: www.SaratogaPolarExpressRide.com or see: www.sncrr.com or call 877-726-RAIL (7245).

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