VIDEO: Real-life Polar Express back on the tracks in Michigan

Nov 21, 2013

The steam engine that inspired the children's book The Polar Express and provided sounds for the movie version is back in service after a four-year refurbishment project.

The Pere Marquette 1225 rolled out of the garage Wednesday in Owosso, ringing its bell and spewing steam for train enthusiasts and volunteers gathered to watch the engine take its maiden voyage following the overhaul.

According to the Steam Railroad Institute, which operates the 72-year-old locomotive, PM 1225 had to undergo the extensive maintenance to meet federal standards. Work included a complete boiler rebuild.

Michigan Radio's Mercedes Mejia was on hand for the action and put together a video with some of the evening's sights and sounds.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

*Correction - an earlier version called it "a 72-year-old train." Corrected above.