OWOSSO, Mich. (WLNS) - Chaga chaga choo choo! It's a train unlike any other. Some even say it's magical. Before it travels the long journey to the North Pole, you have a chance to ride it.
The original Polar Express will pull out of its Owosso station for the first time in four years.
6 News Reporter Francesca Amiker spent time on the train and brings viewers an exclusive 6 News preview.
The Polar Express is a childhood fantasy for some, but it's about to turn into a real-life joy ride for those in Michigan.
"The real enjoyment comes from showing people who weren't even born when this engine was working, what it was like years ago. We have the ability now to re-create the past," said Aarne Frobom, Board President of Steam Railroading Institute.
It was just nine years ago when world-famous Director George Lucas called the Steam Railroad Institute and asked to make train 1225 the biggest star of them all.
The film crew mimiced every detail from the locomotive, even the train's very own engineer, Kevin Mayer.
"We spent two days recording all the sounds to the squeaky wheel on a car, to one of our volunteers sliding down the coal pile," said Kevin Mayer, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Steam Railroading Institute.
It's those memories that the instutite is so excited to share with the public. After four years of raising funds and another four re-building the train, they can't wait to shout, "all aboard!"
"You board the train and you're stepping into the past. Car hosts greet you and you get treated like you used to get treated years ago. You knew you were special. It's a family experience," said Terry Bush, Event Coordinator, Steam Railroading Institute.
The train's engineer says he can't wait to share that experience with people from all over Michigan, as well as those visiting the state.
"This project is coming to an end after almost four years of all the dedicated volunteers and staff. All our work has come to fruition. And we get to show off what the guys here at SRI are capable of doing," said Mayer.
Michiganders lucky enough to ride the locomotive will enjoy a tour of the train and a one hour ride that will take them to the Village of Ashley's Country Christmas.
The village will be decorated in 1950's Christmas decorations. After the stop, the train will head back to Owosso.