November 27, 2016 -

PALESTINE – Stunned Texas State Railroad passenger Bailey Parsons, 6, seemed almost speechless recently as her childhood hero ventured up the train aisle and extended a gloved hand in greeting.

The bigger-than-life figure, dressed in a velvety red and white winter suit, was just boarding the railcar when he spotted the tiny, wide-eyed youngster finishing up a cup of hot cocoa.

“I like seeing Santa,” she said, eyes twinkling in delight after a few moments of pleasantries with the jolly old elf.

The encounter was one of many heart-warming ones that unfolded during a recent excursion to the North Pole via the beloved Polar Express train ride, operated by the Texas State Railroad.

The annual, family-friendly attraction, which departs from Palestine station, 789 Park Road 70, represents one of the most popular attractions for the railroad, said Janet Gregg, special event manager.

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