Holiday train ride brings children, families to the North Pole

By Ashley Wiebe
November 24, 2017 - 2:51pm Updated: November 24, 2017 - 7:39pm


MOSSLEIGH, AB — For many, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.

For some families, it can be a stressful time, especially for parents who’s children are battling cancer.

But a team of 55 crew members are helping them on a different journey.

Dozens of families gathered on the platform at Aspen Crossing Thursday night, waiting for their chance to board a magical train.

“Well, you comin’?” the conductor asked.

“Where?” asked the boy, wearing his blue housecoat.

“Well to the North Pole of course!” the conductor said. “This is the Polar Express!”

The reenacted scene was taken from the classic Warner Bros. film, as eager eyes watched from the platform below.

“[There’s] a little bit of magic, a lot of excitement, a little bit of dancing,” said general manager Donna Biggar, who helped cook up the special evening.

Families with Kids Cancer Care were invited for this year’s first trip to the North Pole.

“The families have gone through a lot of hard times and for one hour we get to take them away and make them believe,” Biggar said.

“We’re going to see Santa,” said Grace Couldwell. “We’re going to the North Pole!”

Couldwell was diagnosed with leukemia on May 30, 2017 and is scheduled to undergo treatment until August 2019.

“Right now she’s at a pretty intense phase,” said her mom, Nancy. “She has her little bracelet just in case she’s got to go in.”

The Polar Express only makes one stop. You’re only allowed on if you have your round-trip ticket, which the conductor punches holes in.

“Well, you know young lady, you just can’t see Santa Claus without some snow flakes,” the conductor said to Couldwell, punching several holes in her ticket while the round golden circles fell onto the top of her head.

Aspen Crossing hosts the Christmas train ride every year, helping everyone believe in the spirit of the season.

“The excitement in the kids’ faces when they get to the North Pole is probably the best,” Biggar said. “They just light up when they see Santa there.”

Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign underway