Courtesy photo
The Christmas Express train ride at the Western Elite ranch in Lincoln County.

Western Elite once again hosted its annual Christmas Express over five nights earlier in December.

It was a record year for attendance, with around 11,400 making the journey to the company’s landfill property about 30 miles south of Alamo.

Over 100 trained staff members helped put on the free event. The property was transformed into a winter wonderland with food, hot chocolate, rides and visits from various Christmas characters. The centerpiece of the experience was once again a Polar Express train ride where families loaded onto a real train car. A semi-truck pulls the car around the property and passengers view various Christmas scenes, including a Nativity with live animals, and receive a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

In its 10th year, the event is highly-organized and unique. Signs from the waste management company boasted that 95 percent of the material used for the event is recycled.

New additions this year included the Bonny Springs mini-train named “Cho-Choo,” the Bonny Springs Stamp Mill rock crusher that is over 100 years old, the Main Street Station trains, a replica of ancient Stonehenge named “RyanHenge” after Ryan Williams who created the idea and designed it and the new “elf house” in the train line that guests could walk through and experience elf life.