The Polar Express will make two runs next month from Lisle to the North Pole, which some say looks suspiciously like Chicago.
The first train will pull out of the Lisle Metra station at 9:45 a.m. and the second at 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 8.
Tickets are $16 for both children and adults and may be purchased at The Nook on Main Street; at Lisle Savings Bank on Maple Avenue; at the 7-Eleven at Main Street and Ogden Avenue; and at the Safari Café in Green Trails Shopping Center. Parking is free in the Lisle Metra lots.
"This is our 19th year operating the Lisle Polar Express," said Wayne Dunham, who serves as engineer on the trip. "With 11 cars and seating for 1,000 passengers, it's the largest Polar Express train in the area."
Last year, Dunham said, the trip from Lisle attracted riders from more than 65 communities.
He said there will be a Santa for every two cars on the train "to guarantee that each child has quality time" with the Big Guy.
Mrs. Claus also will be on the train, he said, along with Belle, Cinderella and Scrooge. The conductor and the engineer will punch each rider's ticket and give them back to the children as a souvenir.
Along with the costumed characters, elves will be in each car to lead the singing of Christmas carols, pass out Polar Express activity booklets and, of course, a bell from the harness of Santa's reindeer with a message from Mr. C. attached. Other surprises also are being planned.
"The entire trip will take about 75 minutes," conductor Jack Kelly said.
No one will be able to get off the train, Kelly said, and riders are reminded it leaves precisely on time.
For details, contact the Lisle Convention and Visitors Bureau at (630) 769-1000 or (800) 733-9811, or visit the Polar Express website at https//www.facebook.com/The LislePolarExpressChristmasTrain.