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Is your toddlin' tyke all "Thomas" this and "Thomas" that, chugging around in an engineer's cap and blowing the whistle every five minutes? Then have we got a Christmas gift idea for you. Southern Colorado's Rio Grande Scenic Railroad took a cue this year from the Durango-Silverton narrow-gauge line (which hosts a trademarked Polar Express train adventure each winter) by instigating its own version of the holiday choo-choo: a rustic train ride among snow-covered peaks, with jolly old Santa and lots of goodies and photo ops in tow.

Rio Grande's North Pole Express makes its last two runs this weekend, complete with hot chocolate and candy canes for all; it leaves today and tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. from scenic La Veta, Colorado, for a two-hour after-dark meander through the mountains. Admission is $10 for children and $20 for adults; for information and reservations, call 1-877-726-RAIL or go to
Saturdays, Sundays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Dec. 16, 2007


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