Dozens of children and their parents rode the tracks to the North Pole on Friday night for an exclusive visit with Santa Claus.

Nearly 100 children, who have all been diagnosed with a form of cancer, and their families put on their pajamas and gathered at the Aspen Crossing Railway station in Mossleigh, Alberta, southeast of Calgary.

Aboard the train, the families were treated to Christmas carols, a live performance of scenes from The Polar Express Christmas movie, holiday themed snacks including hot chocolate and cookies, and a visit from Ol' Saint Nick.

Friday’s trip was the inaugural Alberta ride of The Polar Express and the event honoured six-year-old Jace Harum, one of the passengers, who is battling a brain tumour on his pituitary gland.

“It means a lot for our family to be together,” said Jodi Herum, Jace’s mother. “Last year we were fortunate to be at home but it wasn’t the same as it had been in the past. We were looking forward to this year and this is a great start to it.”

"It's amazing,” said Justin Herum, Jace’s father. “The fact that all these kids, they're all still enjoying life. It's not fazing them. They're having a good time which is good to see."

The event was organized by Kids Cancer Care, Warner Bros. Consumer Products Inc. and Aspen Crossing Railway.  

“The Polar Express Train Ride is about the need to believe and who needs to believe more than a family battling a child’s cancer diagnosis?” asked Donna Biggar, Aspen Crossing Railway general manager. “This is our gift to these brave families.”

The Polar Express will be depart from the Aspen Crossing Railway on select dates throughout December and late November. For ticket information, visit Aspen Crossing.