Having gone to the University of Pittsburgh during the era of the Port Authority funding crisis—which inevitably spawned the era of the Port Authority funding cuts—my personal experience (and the experiences of most people I know) taking public transportation in the City of Champions is most closely associated with the level of enjoyment one would derive from sitting in a sauna in hell.  By comparison, anytime I’m in a city where public transportation is sufficiently funded, I feel like I’m being ascended into Heaven to be a sit-in a substitute for Jesus in his seat at the right hand of the Father.

When it comes to cities with top-notch travel options, according to businessinsider.com’s list, “The US Cities with the Best Public Transportation Systems,” Chicago ranks #6 overall, and #1 in the Midwest.  While boasting one of the best public transportation systems in the country is esteemed in its own regard, having a public transportation system with the closest thing to a real-life Polar Express is something worth stuffing your proverbial stocking over.  

Cue the Holiday Train.

Generally speaking, catching a glimpse of this fabled fantasy ride is about as likely as seeing Santa himself.  And if that’s the case, being lucky enough to actually snag a seat on the Holiday Train is like getting a Hogwarts acceptance letter in the mail on your eleventh birthday; at the end of the day, only the fortunate few are wizards.  The rest of us are just sorry, sorry squibs.

After half a dozen near-encounters with this winter wonder over a two-day period, our group of holiday hopefuls finally had our retribution. 

I often forget how unbecoming it is when someone is screaming in a video.  Even more than that, I often forget how unbecoming it is when I am screaming on video.  This is made exceedingly obvious in this particular footage. 

While this scene would undoubtedly have benefitted from a silent director, at least no one can question the ecstasy that the Holiday Train has the ability to elicit on the rare occasion that you’re at the right track at the right time.    And even if you’re the type of person who’s picked sides on the Fox News frenzy over the “War on Christmas” and put off by the idea of a public spectacle, surely the Holiday Train can at least serve as a temporary ceasefire given the political correctness of its name.  And if not… well, there’s a 98% chance you won’t even see it anyways.