Another Christmas Miracle – Train Edition

I swear, what would I do without these listicles from MSN.COM?  Now it’s the ultimate train trip for the holidays – check it out here

All of these images just speak Hallmark movie to me – why are we not experiencing movies about train travel like this?

Slide 1 of 17: The Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel started its Polar Express ride before the famed movie came out. Since 2000, the train ride takes passengers on a nighttime ride through the wilderness of Williams, Arizona, with steam billowing out of the train as it makes its way to the North Pole. Pajama-clad youngsters and adults alike are served hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies while hearing the cherished Christmas tale before they come out of the darkness to witness a brightly lit holiday world where Santa and his reindeer can be seen greeting guests. Santa boards the train to hand every child a sleigh bell before families return from the 90-minute journey, after which they can extend the holiday fun at the hotel. The hotel is completely decorated for the occasion, with opportunities to enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus and photos with Santa. Tickets start at $43 for adults and $33 for children ages two to 15.

Sample Plot – the bright lights of a small town’s holiday celebrations are in danger because of the train line – our heroine is in charge of the lights, and she comes up against an uptight train executive. Will they save the celebration AND fall in love?

Slide 5 of 17: A ride on the Christmas Tree Train gives passengers the change to cut their very own Christmas tree from the wilderness, all while enjoying spectacular scenery along the way. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has partnered with the San Juan National Forest Columbine Ranger District and the San Juan Mountains Association to create the memorable experience, allowing passengers to cut a white fir trees in the area to assist in reducing wildfire risks. Passengers will be given saws with volunteers on hand to assist in selecting and cutting trees, which riders will do after taking a journey from downtown Durango and the Animus Valley into Cascade Canyon in the San Juan National Forest. Once in Cascade canyon, guests can enjoy a cozy fireplace and hot beverage or a romantic stroll along the Animus River footbridge. Prices start at $69 for adults and at $42 for children ages four to 11.

Sample Plot – Free spirit hero rides the rails and loves the mountain lifestyle. Very TypeA heroine arrives on the train by mistake and just relaxes in the chill vibes, and decides to quit her lawyer job and run the train with her mountain man love.

Slide 10 of 17: The Holiday Express 1880 Train combines Christmas and history in one, as passengers take a one-hour ride onboard the world’s longest operating standard gage excursion train. Started back in 1957, the train weaves from Hill City through the Black Hills National Forest with views of historic mining encampments and rock huts along the way. Passengers can enjoy hot chocolate and sugar cookies and spot reindeer, turkeys and marmots. The train heads to the “North Pole,” where Santa will board and greet each of the guests, with every train car decorated with themes that range from a winter wonderland to Candyland and a Victorian Christmas. For the adult version, passengers can book the Holiday Express—Spiked, where hot chocolate comes spiked with either peppermint or butterscotch schnapps. Tickets start at $35 for adults and $16 for children for the Holiday Express, and $45 for adults on the Holiday Express—Spiked train.

Sample Plot – Santa’s sleigh breaks down, and he has to take the train to reach a certain town. There’s a divorced mom with a daughter who doesn’t like Christmas, but Santa’s magic, and Santa’s secretly hot son named Nick, save the day.