As the holiday season approaches, the magic of Christmas comes alive in the most unexpected places. One such place is the state of Maine, where the Polar Express Christmas Train Ride transforms the winter landscape into a real-life storybook. This enchanting journey, inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s classic children’s book, “The Polar Express,” is a unique holiday experience that captivates children and adults alike. From the moment you step aboard the vintage train, you are whisked away into a world of wonder and delight, filled with holiday cheer, festive decorations, and a heartwarming tale of Christmas magic.

The Polar Express Experience

The Polar Express Christmas Train Ride in Maine is more than just a scenic train ride; it’s an immersive theatrical experience that brings the beloved story to life. As the train chugs along the tracks, professional actors recreate scenes from the book, complete with singing, dancing, and storytelling. The highlight of the journey is when the train arrives at the “North Pole,” where Santa Claus himself greets the passengers.

What to Expect

From the moment you arrive at the station, the magic of the Polar Express surrounds you. The station is beautifully decorated with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations, setting the stage for the magical journey ahead. Once aboard the train, you are treated to hot chocolate and cookies, just like in the story. The train ride lasts approximately an hour, during which you are entertained by a reading of “The Polar Express” and a visit from Santa Claus.

Location and Schedule

The Polar Express Christmas Train Ride in Maine is hosted by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum, located in Portland. The train rides typically begin in late November and run through December, with multiple rides scheduled each day. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance as the rides often sell out quickly.

Tickets and Pricing

Tickets for the Polar Express Christmas Train Ride can be purchased online or at the station. Prices vary depending on the type of seating you choose. There are standard coach seats, as well as first-class seats which offer a more comfortable experience with additional perks. Children under two years old can ride for free if they sit on a parent’s lap.

What to Bring

While the train is heated, it’s recommended to dress warmly as the ride can get chilly. Don’t forget your camera to capture the magical moments, and consider bringing a copy of “The Polar Express” book for your children to follow along during the story reading.

Additional Tips

Arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time to ensure you have enough time to board the train. There is limited parking available at the station, so consider carpooling or using public transportation. Lastly, remember to embrace the spirit of the season and enjoy this unique holiday experience.


The Polar Express Christmas Train Ride in Maine is a magical journey that brings the spirit of Christmas to life. Whether you’re a fan of the book, a train enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique holiday experience, this enchanting train ride is sure to create lasting memories. So, step into a winter wonderland and experience the magic of the Polar Express this holiday season.

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