Inspired by the 1985 children’s classic, The Polar Express, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, the DRD Arctic Express, built by sisters Jaimy Hancroft and Ewoyn Swords, is currently being showcased in its own region for the holiday season. As the region is a venue for the Lab’s Jolly Holiday Crawl, and DRD is the subject of segment #42 of the Drax Files World Makers; (see my review here), Caitlyn and I took time out on a Friday afternoon to pay it a visit.
The express sits to one side of a snow-bound landscape under an overcast sky, patiently awaiting passengers to climb the steps and board the carriages. Those who do will find there’s considerable comfort to be had within. For example, the First Class saloon located immediately behind the engine and its tender, provides soft sofas and armchairs in which to relax, with decorated Christmas trees offering a seasonal sparkle, while cookies and hot chocolate are on hand to ward off the cold.
Behind this sits the dining car, where the tables are set for those seeking a filling repast – just take a seat and discover for yourself! Travel further back through the train, and the first class carriage awaits, and behind it, the club car. The latter offers a range of alcoholic beverages for those seeking something with a little more edge than hot chocolate to help them recover from the cold air outside. Bringing up the rear of the train are the standard and third class carriages.
Hauling all of this – so Google informs me – is a mighty 4-6-6 locomotive modelled after the Berkshire 2-8-4 engine from the book (and its cinematic counterpart). This is beautifully detailed on the outside (and the cab number includes a special significance for Jaimy and Eowyn, being three of the digits from their late father’s birth date). While the cab might appear a little plain, there is fun to be had – simply touch the boiler and select Sit to find out more!
Across the snow from the train, for those who feel a need to stretch their legs, is a little DRD outpost where those joining in with the Lab’s Jolly Holiday Crawl on December 19th will be able to claim some special DRD gacha items.
Perfectly showcased, DRD’s Arctic Express makes for a pleasant visit and an ideal location for photography. I’m not sure how long it will remain available for visits, but it’s definitely not one to be missed, either on its own, or as a part of the Jolly Holiday Crawl.
- DRD Arctic Express (Monlight Sonata, rated: Moderate)