11 Southern Cities Where You Can Ride the Polar Express

The North Pole isn’t as far away as you think with these incredible Polar Express Train Rides.

Libby Monteith Minor
Polar Express
Courtesy of Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad

Take a thrilling journey to the “North Pole” to experience the wonder of The Polar Express book and movie. All you need to pack is your sense of adventure. Wear your most festive holiday pajamas, like the children in the story who are roused from their slumber on Christmas Eve and whisked off on an amazing trip that inspires them to believe in the magic of the season.

With 50 Polar Express departure locations (including 11 in the South), almost a million people hopped aboard last year. Depending on your departure station and the train car you choose, you could enjoy a cookie and hot chocolate served by dancing chefs and waiters, take in a cavalcade of choreographed elves singing their way down the aisle of your train car, hobnob with a wandering hobo, and have your all-important golden ticket stamped by a friendly yet startlingly efficient conductor. And on every ride, you’ll be regaled with a reading of the Caldecott Medal-winning Polar Express book, receive a souvenir silver sleigh bell (which only those who believe can hear ringing), and—best of all—have the chance to share your Christmas list in person with the jolly old man in the red suit.

The ride lasts about an hour, round-trip. Ticket prices average $40 but vary depending on the location and the train car you choose. Many stations offer first-class tickets featuring an upgraded train car (some with table seating) and extra amenities. Some locations have already sold out for 2016, so get onboard and book your ticket now—and be sure to put in a good word for us with Santa! raileventsinc.com/polar-express

Find a Location Near You:
B&O Railroad Museum; Baltimore, MD
Branson Scenic Railway; Branson, MO
Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad; Elkins, WV
Eastern Flyer; Stillwater, OK
Gold Coast Railroad Museum; Miami, FL
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad; Bryson City, NC
Grenada Railroad; Batesville, MS
New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal; New Orleans, LA
North Carolina Transportation Museum; Spencer, NC
Texas State Railroad; Palestine, TX
West Texas & Lubbock Railway; Lubbock, TX