THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

TICKETS ON SALE THIS SUMMER!

Saturday, November 23:
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Sunday, November 24:
1:30pm | 2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm

Friday, November 29:
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Saturday, November 30:
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm| 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Sunday, December 1:
1:30pm | 2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm

Friday, December 6
4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Saturday, December 7
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm* | 6:30pm* | 7:45pm

Sunday, December 8
1:30pm | 2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm

Friday, December 13
4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Saturday, December 14
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm* | 6:30pm* | 7:45pm

Sunday, December 15
1:30pm | 2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm

Thursday, December 19
4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Friday, December 20
4:00pm | 5:15pm | 6:30pm | 7:45pm

Saturday, December 21
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm* | 6:30pm* | 7:45pm

Sunday, December 22
1:30pm | 2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm* | 6:30pm

Monday, December 23
2:45pm | 4:00pm | 5:15pm* | 6:30pm* | 7:45pm

* denotes peak night pricing. Experience the magic on peak nights: join us on our most popular Polar Express departures and enjoy a festive atmosphere unlike any other! Due to high demand, these select dates are premium priced. Book early to guarantee your spot for the most enchanting Polar Express ride.

$35 per person

$50 per person

$100 per person

THIS is the Polar Express!

All aboard…. to the North Pole!

Maine Narrow Gauge warmly invites you to experience the Polar Express™ Train Ride! This magical train runs on select dates every holiday season.

The Polar Express™ Train Ride is the largest annual fundraiser for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum. This theatrically-driven Christmas train has become an annual tradition for thousands of families, drawing over 23,000 passengers in 2023! 

The fun begins at Portland’s Ocean Gateway Marine Terminal. Browse holiday and train-themed souvenirs. Before you know it, an enchanting scene is enacted at the station with live actors – they set the scene before your journey to the North Pole and invite you to come on the train.

The Conductor boards passengers onto the nine historic passenger coaches decked out for the holidays. Once on board, children are handed authentic golden tickets by the Conductor. Costumed chefs appear and serve hot chocolate and cookies to everybody on the train. Christmas music fills the cars as the steam locomotive blows its whistle, the wheels start turning, and your roundtrip ride to the North Pole begins.

Once at the North Pole, a very special guest boards the train and hands out the first gift of Christmas. The train begins its return journey back to Portland. Upon arrival, the atmosphere feels a little more magical, and passengers are inspired to believe in things that they can’t see.

The Polar Express™ Train Ride is staffed by volunteers and is the largest annual fundraiser for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum. Thank you for your support! Your ticket purchase contributes to the continuity of our entirely unique historic railroad.

Presidential Class details: Passengers riding “Presidential Class” receive our most deluxe level of service! These passengers enjoy premium individual cushioned seating, get a commemorative limited-edition ceramic mug to remember their train ride, and can take home a copy of the Polar Express book signed by Santa Claus, on loan from the North Pole Library. (1 copy per grouping of 4 [or fewer] guests).

First Class passengers get to ride in one of Maine Narrow Gauge’s restored turn-of-the-century train cars (with individual padded seating), as well as receive a limited-edition ceramic mug as a unique souvenir of their train ride to the North Pole.

All passengers get the experience of riding on a brilliantly decorated train powered by an authentic steam engine, as well as receive hot chocolate, a cookie, a brief visit from Santa, and the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell.

Are you interested in volunteering? Please contact Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad if you want to play a part of this very special magical event! Contact [email protected].

Be ready to board at least 20 minutes prior to the train’s departure! The Polar Express™ Train Ride leaves exactly on time.

Unfortunately, we cannot hold the train for any latecomers. We have a very tight schedule to keep to get everyone to the North Pole and back in time for Christmas!

An entire train car may be rented for your party, depending on availability. However, no group discount is available at this time.

FAQs

We operate on select dates between Friday, November 25 and Friday, December 23. Departure times depend on the day, with most departures taking place in the mid-afternoon to evening.

Presidential Class: $85 per person | First Class: $50 per person | Coach Class: $35 per person

We are following all city, state, and federal guidelines for the safe operation of The Polar Express Train Ride™. For the latest info, please visit Maine.gov/covid19.

Yes, on select days. Matinee trips offer an opportunity for those with small children to enjoy an earlier departure. Please note that given the presence of sunlight, the North Pole and nighttime illumination will not be available. Matinee train rides are a great choice for families with young children who wish to experience the Polar Express™ Train Ride and have time for an early dinner and bedtime. Aside from it being daylight, all other aspects of this magical train ride remain the same.

There is no will-call for 2023. All passengers should receive an email with a link to view and download the tickets. Please bring your ticket, or a mobile device with your ticket on it, to the train ride.

The terminal at Portland’s Ocean Gateway is where you’ll find a well-stocked gift shop, restrooms, and the gathering point before each train departure.

Each passenger receives a complimentary mug of hot, hot chocolate, plus a delicious cookie! First Class and Presidential Class passengers get a limited-edition commemorative ceramic mug with their ticket.

Before the train departs, passengers are served hot, hot chocolate and each given a cookie by magical Chefs. The steam engine pushes the cheerfully-decorated train from the station all the way to the North Pole!

Along the way, passengers hear a telling of the timeless Polar Express story by Chris Van Allsburg while passing beautiful illuminated displays.

Once the train arrives at the North Pole, Santa and his helpers board the train, greet every passengers, and give every child on the train the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell.

On the return trip, Santa’s elves lead the train in carols and singalongs, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Presidential Class is our brand-new, most deluxe level of service on a newly-restored train car. These passengers enjoy reserved premium cushioned individual seating, each get a limited-edition commemorative ceramic mug, and every grouping of 4 (or fewer) receives a copy of the Polar Express book by Chris Van Allsburg, signed by Santa Claus, on loan from the North Pole Library.

First Class tickets give each rider a ride on a turn-of-the-century restored train car (with reserved individual padded seating) and a commemorative limited-edition ceramic mug.

Coach Class tickets give each rider a general admission ride on the festive train.

All passengers receive a cup of “hot, hot chocolate” and a cookie treat. Kids get to take home a sweet-sounding silver sleigh bell.

Coach Class is primarily long wooden benches that run the length of each Coach Class train car. Note that the benches run along the walls of each coach and face inward toward the car’s interior.

First Class is a mix of old-fashioned 1×1 “railroad-style” individual padded chairs or padded armchairs. These seats are parallel to the windows.

Presidential Class is entirely contemporary padded armchairs, parallel to the windows.

Maine Narrow Gauge does not provide parking, but free street parking and a number of lots are available in a short walking distance. Visit PortlandMaine.gov for parking information.

Yes, the Polar Express™ operates rain, snow, or shine. Please be sure to dress for the weather on your trip.

Unfortunately, all tickets are non-exchangeable, non-transferrable, and non-refundable. This includes if the train is operational but the guest for any reason chooses not to ride.

The Polar Express operates on a very tight schedule. All trains leave exactly on time. No latecomers can be admitted, and no refunds, exchanges, or vouchers can be given for guests who miss their scheduled departure. Please plan to arrive 30 minutes before your departure time.

Yes, our train is equipped with a wheelchair lift and 4 ADA-accessible seats per train.

Yes! The train stops briefly at the North Pole, where Santa and his helpers board the train. Santa will make his way through all the train cars and greet each guest. Please be advised that due to the number of riders who Santa wants to meet, he will be unable to stop and pose for individual photos.

Children age 2 and under who sit on a lap do not require a ticket. However, if the child requires a seat of their own to sit in, a ticket is required.

The Polar Express trip lasts for approximately 50 minutes.

The Polar Express train ride is the biggest annual fundraiser for Maine Narrow Gauge. Tickets help ensure that our non-profit organization can continue preserving and operating Maine’s historic two-foot narrow gauge railroad equipment for the enjoyment and education of the public.

During your train ride, you will enjoy all butter “finger” shortbread cookies provided by Walkers Shortbread. Walkers Shortbread cookies are baked in Scotland and have a delicious crunchy yet crumbly texture achieved through a 125-year-old family recipe, using only four of the finest natural ingredients. Find out more at us.walkersshortbread.com

Use code PEXME to save 20% off your next purchase from the Walkers online store! Offer expires 12/31/22. Not valid on Sale Items.

Wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin), butter (milk) (32%), sugar, salt.

Water; Hot Chocolate Powder: Sugar, Non-Dairy Creamer [Refined Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Mono and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sugar, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Soy Lecithin, Annatto and Turmeric (Colors), Artificial Flavor], Cocoa Powder processed with alkali, Corn Syrup Solids, Nonfat Dry Milk, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Citrate. ALLERGENS: Milk, Soy

Volunteers make the Polar Express train ride happen! Please email [email protected] if you’d like to be part of this very special event.

All questions related to ticketing can be directed to eTix. Please call toll-free at 1-800-514-3849. Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am to 8pm EST. Sundays: 12pm to 8pm EST.

You can also visit the eTix Support Center at support.eTix.com or visit this link for a helpful Customer Support Form.

The Polar Express™ Train Ride is made possible with support from:

SIGN UP

Join our email list!

Skip to content