ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis holiday tradition returns.

The Polar Express Train Ride is back with real train trips at St. Louis Union Station for Christmas this year. The rides are rolling to the North Pole again to tell the magical story of a boy’s search for the real meaning of Christmas.

“The Polar Express has become an amazing holiday tradition here in St. Louis,” Cameron Schoeffel with the St. Louis Union Station said. “This is now our eighth year of running the polar express train ride, and it’s just a magical experience. It’s something where we’re able to bring the Polar Express story to life.”

Passengers will depart for a round-trip journey to the North Pole led by a cast of talented characters. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack. They will re-live the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away for a one-hour trip to meet Santa.

Union Station is also hosting a sensory-friendly day on board the Polar Express.

“We really wanted to offer that an opportunity for this year for those folks that have sensory sensitivities,” Schoeffel explained. “So it was very important for us to be able to make that happen.”

Also happening this holiday season at Union Station, you can check out local author and high school teacher Rachel Browdy’s new book. It is a young adult epic adventure novel inspired by Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and the great tales of Christmas.

“The book is about a young boy who is about 14, and he gets sucked into an advent calendar into one of the little doors, and inside the little door is a whole new world,” Browdy shared. “With different lands and sorcerers and sorceresses and dragons and the whole bit. And in that story, he gets to learn about advent.”

Trains will depart St. Louis Union Station at 4:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. every night during the season. Trains also run at 8:30 p.m. on certain dates.

Coach tickets for this St. Louis holiday event begin at $35 and can be purchased online.