Find and Travel the Polar Express & Other Christmas Trains
Edited by Graeme, Lynn, Robbi
Vintage railroads across the world love to celebrate Christmas by decorating their trains and adding Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, elves, stories, presents and hot chocolate and cookies to the experience. Many replicate the story of the Polar Express on trips they run.
The Polar Express, a wonderful story by Chris Van Allsburg, is about a young boy who rides a magical train on Christmas Eve to the North Pole because he doubts the existence of Santa Claus and has lost the spirit of Christmas. He and his friends have many experiences on the way.
Once they reach the North Pole, Santa gives him a silver bell, which at first, he cannot hear, but as the spirit of Christmas grows in him, he is able to hear the beautiful sound of the bell and continues to do so for the rest of his life.
On many of the train trips, kids are encouraged to come in their pajamas to meet Santa Claus. They will hear the story on their way to the North Pole, while drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies. Each child between the ages of 3 and 11 will receive a gift, usually a Christmas bell, to remind them of this very special train journey.
In North America (and in the UK) there are many licensed Polar Express trains running from late November through late December.
- 1 Grapevine Vintage Railroad
- 2 Fillmore & Western Railway Co
- 3 Strasburg Railway, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
- 4 Eastern States
- 5 New York
- 6 New England
- 7 Midwestern States
- 8 Southern States
- 9 Western States
- 10 Canada
- 11 United Kingdom
- 12 Comments
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Grapevine - Texas
- 1The North Pole Express is run by the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Grapevine, Texas every December.Advertisement
- 2You will definitely be stepping back in time when you ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.Advertisement
- 3Their engines are Victorian-style, although the steam loco, built in 1896, is the oldest steam engine in continuous operation in the South.
- 4For Christmas, they decorate the station at Grapevine with thousands of lights.
- 5To get your Christmas spirit going, Santa will be there for the kids on the 30-minute train ride.
- 6Carol singing, a Christmas tree maze, storytelling and even a decorations factory all add to the Grapevine Christmas experience for the entire family.
Fillmore & Western Railway Co
Visit Santa Claus on the North Pole Express
- 1From November 30 through December 26, you can take the North Pole Express to visit Santa Claus.Fillmore & Western Railway Co., Fillmore, California has several different trains trips on offer for Christmas family fun.Advertisement
- 2His elves make the trip more exciting with carol singing, storytelling and a snack of chocolate milk and cookies.
- 3And with special shopping trains throughout the month of December, you can do all your Christmas shopping at the Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium.Between November 30 and December 22, you can take the Christmas Tree Train to the tree farm to choose and cut your very own Christmas tree.
- 4Be sure to bring your camera because Santa comes to your table to hear what you want for Christmas, and he will pose for pictures with the kids (and the grownups!).For something really special, have dinner with Santa on December 13 or 20.
- 5Santa is a very popular man.Be sure to make your reservations as early as you can.
Strasburg Railway, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
The Night Before Christmas Train
Strasburg Railway, Strasburg, Pennsylvania - located east of Strasburg, PA, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, this is a vintage railroad that has been operating its short line continuously since 1832.
While a ride on a steam-driven train is special any time of year, it's extra special at Christmas, especially when you ride the Night Before Christmas Train.
- 1The warmth from the potbelly stove is very welcome after the cold winter winds outside, especially with the smell of cookies in the air as well.Advertisement
- 2You will enjoy munching cookies and drinking milk while listening to the story (The Night Before Christmas) read by a man dressed in a Victorian nightdress and cap.
- 3You'll get to tell him exactly what you want for Christmas and Santa and his helpers give gifts to all the kids 3-11 years of age.Santa Claus will also be on board, riding the train with you.
- 4There are more holiday stories to listen to in the stationary Caboose and for some extra fun, everyone can ride in the Tinsel Trolley, a motor car that is self-propelled.
- 5Whichever Christmas train trip you choose, you'll build the memories everyone will talk about for years to come. But reserve your seats early or you just may miss the train for this year.It is time to start thinking of how you can make this Christmas extra special and maybe even start a new tradition for the family.
- 1Connecticut Danbury Railway Museum, Danbury, CT
- 2Delaware 2013 Wilmington & Western Railroad, Wilmington, DE
- 3Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, Portland, ME
- 4Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, ME
- 5Massachusetts 2013 Festival of Lights Train with Santa, Carver , MA
- 6Pennsylvania - New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, New Hope, PA
- 7Conway Scenic Railway, North Conway, NH
- 8Hobo Railroad, Lincoln, NH
- 9Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Phillipsburg, NJ
- 1Adirondack Scenic Railroad, Utica, NY
- 2Arcade & Attica Railroad, Arcade, NY
- 3Medina Railroad Museum, Medina, NY
- 4Saratoga & North Creek Railway, Saratoga Springs, NY
- 1Conway Scenic Railway, North Conway, NH
- 2Hobo Railroad, Lincoln, NH
- 3Providence &Worcester Railroad, Woonsocket, RI
- 4Newport Dinner Train, Newport, RI
- 5Green Mountain Railroad, White River Junction, VT
- 1Fox River Trolley Museum, South Elgin, IL
- 2Monticello Railway Museum, Monticello, IL
- 3Indiana Railway Museum, French Lick, IN
- 4Whitewater Valley Railroad, Connersville, IN
- 5North Shore Scenic Railroad, Duluth, MN
- 6Branson Scenic Railway, Branson, MO
- 7Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Independence and Akron, OH
- 8Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, Dennison, OH
- 9West Virginia - Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, Elkins, WV
- 10Wisconsin - National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, WI
- 1Texas State Railroad, Palestine, TX
- 2West Texas & Lubbock Railroad, Wolfforth, TX
- 3North Carolina - Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, NC
- 1Arizona - Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, AZ
- 2California - California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento CA
- 3Colorado - Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango, CO
- 4Oregon - Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, OR
- 5Washington - Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum, Chehalis, WA
- 6Nevada Northern Railway, Ely, NV
- 7Virginia & Trukee Railroad, Carson City, NV