Find and Travel the Polar Express & Other Christmas Trains

Edited by Graeme, Anonymous, 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.

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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.

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Christmas Train

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.

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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.

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In North America (and in the UK) there are many licensed Polar Express trains running from late November through late December.

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Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Grapevine - Texas

Grapevine
  1. 1
    The North Pole Express is run by the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Grapevine, Texas every December.
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  2. 2
    You will definitely be stepping back in time when you ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.
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  3. 3
    Their engines are Victorian-style, although the steam loco, built in 1896, is the oldest steam engine in continuous operation in the South.
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  4. 4
    For Christmas, they decorate the station at Grapevine with thousands of lights.
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  5. 5
    To get your Christmas spirit going, Santa will be there for the kids on the 30-minute train ride.
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  6. 6
    Carol singing, a Christmas tree maze, storytelling and even a decorations factory all add to the Grapevine Christmas experience for the entire family.
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Fillmore & Western Railway Co

Visit Santa Claus on the North Pole Express

Fillmore and Western Railway
  1. 1
    Fillmore & Western Railway Co., Fillmore, California has several different trains trips on offer for Christmas family fun.
    From November 30 through December 26, you can take the North Pole Express to visit Santa Claus.
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  2. 2
    His elves make the trip more exciting with carol singing, storytelling and a snack of chocolate milk and cookies.
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  3. 3
    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.
    And with special shopping trains throughout the month of December, you can do all your Christmas shopping at the Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium.
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  4. 4
    For something really special, have dinner with Santa on December 13 or 20.
    Be 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!).
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  5. 5
    Be sure to make your reservations as early as you can.
    Santa is a very popular man.
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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.

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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.

Strasburg Railway
  1. 1
    The 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.
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  2. 2
    You 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.
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  3. 3
    Santa Claus will also be on board, riding the train with you.
    You'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.
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  4. 4
    There 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.
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  5. 5
    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.
    Whichever 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.
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Eastern States

  1. 1
    Connecticut Danbury Railway Museum, Danbury, CT
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  2. 2
    Delaware 2013 Wilmington & Western Railroad, Wilmington, DE
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    Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, Portland, ME
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  4. 4
    Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, ME
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  5. 5
    Massachusetts 2013 Festival of Lights Train with Santa, Carver , MA
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  6. 6
    Pennsylvania - New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, New Hope, PA
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  7. 7
    Conway Scenic Railway, North Conway, NH
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  8. 8
    Hobo Railroad, Lincoln, NH
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  9. 9
    Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Phillipsburg, NJ
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New York

  1. 1
    Adirondack Scenic Railroad, Utica, NY
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  2. 2
    Arcade & Attica Railroad, Arcade, NY
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    Medina Railroad Museum, Medina, NY
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  4. 4
    Saratoga & North Creek Railway, Saratoga Springs, NY
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New England

  1. 1
    Conway Scenic Railway, North Conway, NH
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  2. 2
    Hobo Railroad, Lincoln, NH
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  3. 3
    Providence &Worcester Railroad, Woonsocket, RI
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  4. 4
    Newport Dinner Train, Newport, RI
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  5. 5
    Green Mountain Railroad, White River Junction, VT
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Midwestern States

  1. 1
    Fox River Trolley Museum, South Elgin, IL
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  2. 2
    Monticello Railway Museum, Monticello, IL
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  3. 3
    Indiana Railway Museum, French Lick, IN
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  4. 4
    Whitewater Valley Railroad, Connersville, IN
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  5. 5
    North Shore Scenic Railroad, Duluth, MN
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  6. 6
    Branson Scenic Railway, Branson, MO
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  7. 7
    Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Independence and Akron, OH
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  8. 8
    Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, Dennison, OH
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  9. 9
    West Virginia - Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, Elkins, WV
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  10. 10
    Wisconsin - National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, WI
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Southern States

  1. 1
    Texas State Railroad, Palestine, TX
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    West Texas & Lubbock Railroad, Wolfforth, TX
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  3. 3
    North Carolina - Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, NC
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Western States

  1. 1
    Arizona - Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, AZ
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    California - California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento CA
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  3. 3
    Colorado - Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango, CO
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  4. 4
    Oregon - Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River, OR
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  5. 5
    Washington - Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum, Chehalis, WA
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  6. 6
    Nevada Northern Railway, Ely, NV
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  7. 7
    Virginia & Trukee Railroad, Carson City, NV
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Canada

  1. 1
    British Columbia - West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish, BC
    Canadian Pacific Railway John Sesonske
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United Kingdom

  1. 1
    Weardale Railway, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, County Durham
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  2. 2
    Dartmoor Railway, Okehampton, Devon
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Categories : Travel & Leisure | Train Travel

Recent edits by: Lynn, Anonymous, Graeme

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