Holiday trains & ‘Polar Express Train Rides’ (2024) - Trains (2024)

By Nastassia Putz | May 23, 2024

| Last updated on May 29, 2024

Spreading holiday cheer along the rails

Holiday trains & Polar Express Train Rides (2024)

Holiday trains & Polar Express Train Rides (2024): It’s never too early to start planning for a magical train ride with family and friends — especially when tickets go on sale during the spring and summer for some venues.

Purchasing a ticket for a holiday ride on a passenger train is a wonderful treat for anyone. The youngsters — and the young at heart, especially — like to gather on a cold, wintry day for a comfy, cozy experience that sparks wonderment in the eyes of all whom truly believe.

Depending on what you’re looking for this 2024 season, there are many different types of holiday trains to choose from. Some where you can meet Santa, visit the “North Pole,” sip hot chocolate or wine in a beautifully decorated vintage passenger car, or, for one magical night, be fully immersed in the classic children’s book, Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Whatever your choice may be, here is a list of the 2023 Polar Express and holiday trains by location.

ALABAMA

ARIZONA

  • Grand Canyon (Williams), thetrain.com (Polar Express & Ultimate Polar Express Nov. 1 to Dec. 30 — on sale now)

ARKANSAS

CALIFORNIA

COLORADO

CONNECTICUT

DELAWARE

  • Wilmington & Western (Wilmington), wwrr.com

FLORIDA

GEORGIA

ILLINOIS

  • Chicago Union Station (Chicago) chicagounionstation.com (Polar Express — TBD)
  • Fox River Trolley Museum (South Elgin), foxtrolley.org (Polar Express — on sale June 1, 2024)
  • Illinois Railroad Museum (Union), irm.org
  • Monticello Railway Museum (Monticello), mrym.org (Polar Express — TBD, on sale Sept. 7, 2024)

INDIANA

IOWA

KANSAS

KENTUCKY

  • Big South Fork Scenic Railway (Stearns), bsfsry.com (Polar Express Nov. 15 to Dec. 23 — on sale now)
  • Bluegrass Scenic Railroad (Versailles), bgrm.org
  • Kentucky Railway Museum (New Haven), kyrail.org
  • My Old Kentucky Dinner Train (Bardstown), kydinnertrain.com

MAINE

MARYLAND

  • B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore), borail.org (Polar Express — on sale July 20, 2024) (Christmas in July on July 20/21, 2024)
  • Walkersville Southern (Walkersville), wsrr.org
  • Western Maryland Scenic (Cumberland), wmsr.com (Polar Express Dec. 8 to 17 — on sale in July)

MASSACHUSETTS

MICHIGAN

MINNESOTA

  • Minnesota Streetcar Museum (Minneapolis), trolleyride.org
  • North Shore Scenic (Duluth), northshorescenicrailroad.org
  • Railroading Heritage of Midwest America & Friends of the 261 (St. Paul), 261.com/npe/npe-sponsorship/

MISSOURI

MONTANA

NEVADA

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Great Smoky Mountains (Bryson City), gsmr.com (Polar Express Nov. 7 to Dec. 31 — on sale now)
  • New Hope Valley Railway (New Hill), triangletrain.com
  • North Carolina Transportation Museum (Spencer), nctrans.org (Polar Express Nov. 8 to Dec. 23 — on sale June 6, 2024)

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

OREGON

PENNSYLVANIA

RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • South Carolina Railroad Museum (Winnsboro), scrm.org

SOUTH DAKOTA

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

VERMONT

VIRGINIA

WASHINGTON

WEST VIRGINIA

WISCONSIN

MULTIPLE STATES

CANADA

Interested in learning a bit more about the Polar Express… check out this online article, “Behind the scenes of Polar Express,” or the more in-depth print version in Trains’ December 2023 issue!

Holiday trains & ‘Polar Express Train Rides’ (2024) - Trains (2024)

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