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Western Railroad Discussion > St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down


Date: 12/30/18 09:00
St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: MILW16

This was the fourth year that St. Louis Union Station has run the Polar Express (and the fifth year for a Christmas train).  The 2018 version ran 133 trips over 38 operating days, not including four runs on the rehearsal day.  Opening night was November 16 and the last runs will be tonight (December 30).  The train consisted of 11 Budd stainless steel passenger cars plus a power car.  Total capacity was about 550 passengers.  The actual train was operated by the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) and ran from Union Station to just north of the Arch - a distance of about 2.5 miles.  The train pulled to the North Pole and then did a reverse move back to Union Station.  The round trip took 45 minutes.

This year's season started with snow and cold, resulting in our first ever Polar Express operation in an actual snowfall during the rehearsal.  Snow and cold in mid-November is unusual in St.Louis.  After the first week or so it warmed some and the rest of the season's precipitation was in the form of rain.

Overall it was another successful season.  Here are some photos from this year.

1.  The 11-car train (plus power car) was assembled at Union Station on November 14 in light snow.
2.  Ready to depart on the second rehearsal run of November 14.
3.  By the time we were making the reverse move back to Union Station on the third trip of the rehearsal night it was snowing pretty good.
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/18 10:16 by MILW16.








Date: 12/30/18 09:05
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: MILW16

4.  In the snow at St. Louis Union Station.  To the far right is private car Cimarron River.
5.  The middle part of the train at Union Station.  The light snow that covered everything made for a Christmas card look.
6.  Returing to Union Station through the St. Louis Amtrak station on the first run of November 24.  That is Amtrak's Lincoln Service train 306 waiting to depart for Chicago.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/18 10:08 by MILW16.








Date: 12/30/18 09:11
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: MILW16

7.  Departing Union Station through the St. Louis Amtrak Station November 28.
8.  The first run of the day leaving the station on November 29.
9.  Dome Silver Chalet, used as the Special Event Car, awaits another departure on December 15.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/18 12:04 by MILW16.








Date: 12/30/18 09:22
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: Jbarton

Thanks for sharing this information and your nice photos.  Its always interesting to me to see how other organizations run Polar.

Jim Barton  



Date: 12/30/18 09:24
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: MILW16

10.  Glint - In the station on the afternoon of December 23.  This is the non-decorated service side of the train.  Hot chocolate on before each trip and trash off after each trip.
11.  Arriving at the North Pole December 23.  The red light on the sides of the cars is from a signal.  I have tried every year to get a good photo of this but it never turns out from a moving train as well as the human eye sees it.
12.  The train stretched out on the St. Louis river front December 24.
 








Date: 12/30/18 11:08
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: Topfuel

One of Santa's Elves working on the train must be a railfan......  : )



Date: 12/30/18 12:57
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: Raja

Nice post. Hope they can repurpose STL Union Station again. It used to be such an active and exciting experience when it was a “festival marketplace” in the 80s to 90s

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/30/18 16:55
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: burlingtonjohn

What locomotive(s) did you use?

Regards,
Burlington John
 



Date: 12/30/18 17:56
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: stlrailfan

 pair of TRRA 2000 series GP38-3's



Date: 12/30/18 18:07
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: LocoPilot750

Tonight is also the end of the season for Polar Express on the Midland Ry, in Baldwin, KS. We run with ten cars, an engine on each end. 421 seats, and were mostly sold out. I myself have run 12 trains here since Thursday, about 35 trains for the season, glad it's over.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/31/18 22:50
Re: St. Louis Polar Express 2018 Winding Down
Author: brc600

You're promoting railroads, passenger trains and goodwill. Here in Omaha, a woman wrote a letter to the newspaper wanting Omaha railroads to run a Polar Express train.
https://www.omaha.com/opinion/the-public-pulse-all-aboard-the-polar-express-legal-immigrants/article_5631f60e-b36a-536b-aab9-3b4fdc58026e.html
I like the UP freight train to cover a depiction of the Polar Express!!!!!

LocoPilot750 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tonight is also the end of the season for Polar
> Express on the Midland Ry, in Baldwin, KS. We run
> with ten cars, an engine on each end. 421 seats,
> and were mostly sold out. I myself have run 12
> trains here since Thursday, about 35 trains for
> the season, glad it's over.
>
> Posted from Android



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/18 22:57 by brc600.



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