It’s Official: The West Texas Polar Express Train Ride Is Canceled [Update]
[Update] West Texas' Polar Express train ride will not leave the station in 2017.
According to KCBD, the company behind the beloved Christmas train ride's operation out of Wolfforth has officially canceled the West Texas Polar Express for 2017:
Due to corporate refocusing on core freight business activities, Watco Companies, owner of the Lubbock and Western Railroad, has decided to no longer offer the West Texas location of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at Wolfforth, TX.
[Original Story] The popular Christmas-themed Polar Express train ride may be canceled in West Texas and other areas this year, unless railway company Iowa Pacific gets a Christmas miracle (I apologize for that).
According to Trains, an industry publication about, um, trains, Iowa Pacific is being sued by Rail Events, Inc. over unpaid licensing fees to the tune of $3 million dollars.
KCBD has done a considerable amount of investigative digging, and based on what they've found, things don't look exactly great:
Iowa Pacific recently lost its partnership with Polar Express and the Texas State Railroad in East Texas, and is also being sued in Colorado by the company that licenses Polar Express in Durango for unpaid royalties.
We tried reaching out the city manager in Wolfforth, he didn't have any updated information he could give on the Polar Express at this time. He says they have not been in contact with them this year.
We also reached out to WATCO, which is the company that runs the railways. The representative said they didn't have any information. And efforts to reach people at Iowa Pacific have been unsuccessful. They haven't returned any of our phone calls.
Yikes. It's already August and it seems that literally no one connected with the event in the past has been given a clue about what is going on. That isn't to say that the Polar Express train ride is off for sure, I'm just saying don't get your hopes up. I have seen events pulled off successfully with almost no time left, so it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
I will always remember my baby Ian's Polar Express ride -- how wide his eyes were and how cute he looked in his footie jams. He loved the ride and he loved meeting Santa. I hope for other parents they get to experience that joy, but luckily Christmas isn't just about a train ride.