Special train will take 600 disadvantaged children on a ride from South Station to ‘North Pole’

More than 600 disadvantaged children and families will depart South Station tomorrow for a festive journey on the “North Pole Express,” complete with a visit from Santa Claus and a re-creation of the “Polar Express” story book.

Twenty-five local youth charities partnered with the Massachusetts Bay Commuter RailroadCo. to provide the children with a ride on decorated coaches from downtown Boston to the Fairmont commuter rail stop in Hyde Park where Santa Claus will board the train.

During the ride, each child will receive a copy of “The Polar Express” to keep pace with adults who will be reading the book to them. The children will be able to have as much hot chocolate as they can drink, according to the commuter rail company.

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Many have been invited to read the story aloud to the children, including the governor’s wife, Diane Patrick, the Boston mayor’s wife, Angela Menino, MBTA’s acting general manager Jonathan Davis, and Hugh Kiley, general manager of the commuter rail.

Upon the children’s return on the North Pole Express, they will sign a “get well soon” card for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who remains hospitalized at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, said Rhiannon D’Angelo, spokeswoman for the commuter rail.

To end the evening, the children will stay at South Station for a viewing of “The Polar Express” movie.

This is the third year the commuter rail has sponsored the North Pole Express ride as well as the most charities they have ever worked with, D’Angelo said. The company under a contract with the MBTA operates the region’s commuter rail system.