Santa Claus and his "elves" wave at a special Polar Express train as it pulls into rural Pope, Miss. (disguised as the North Pole) on Sunday. Pajama-clad children and their parents took the special train on an hour long trip, departing from Batesville. Passengers listened to a recording of the Polar Express book, read by the author, Chris Van Allsburg. About 3,000 rode the train over the weekend. Singing chefs pass out hot chocolate and cookies as wide eyes children listened to the storybook. Santa boards the train and gives each child a bell and only children who believe in Santa can hear it. The train is run by the Iowa Pacific, which recently took over the ex-Illinois Central line between Memphis and Jackson. The train runs various times through the month of December until the 27th.