ESSEX, CT (WFSB) -- Santa Claus is coming to town!
The famous Essex holiday train is gearing up for the busy holiday season, and ticket sales have already soared.
The full-car tickets for the North Pole Express went on sale on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
By 3 p.m., first-class full cars sold out for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Last year, Santa Claus greeted 90,000 guests.
“This year we’re adding an extra train set. We have three steam engines and three full train sets running this year at Christmas time," said Kevin Dodd, president of Essex Valley Railroad.
It takes a small army 75 to 100 people per night to get passengers safely to the “north pole” and back.
Machinists and crews start in January, getting the old steam engines and parlor cars ready for the railroad’s biggest attraction.
“The kids, the families coming here. It's a time when they put down the cell phones eventually and pay attention to what’s going on around them. They pay attention to each other," Dodd said.
Remaining first-class individual tickets will go on sale Wednesday, and remaining coach-class individual tickets will be on sale on Thursday.
Officials say because so many people are calling in, they're reminding parents to keep calm, as there could be a wait on the phone.
Folks are also reminded to have credit card information ready, and have multiple dates and times in mind for tickets.
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