North Pole Express

A Magical Christmastime Tradition

Graphic for North Pole Express Train Ride

“All Aboard!”, calls the conductor, and your family's magical journey to the North Pole begins!

Through the dark night, the North Pole Express makes its way by starlight to the top of the world. On the way, you'll listen to a whimsical Christmas story, sing your favorite holiday carols, and watch out the windows for the bright lights of the North Pole to appear.

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Celebrate the Season with Santa

Upon arrival at the brilliantly decorated home of the Toymaker himself, the elves, Santa, and Mrs. Claus will all board the train to visit your family and to take photos with every child. Be sure to whisper your wish for what you're hoping to find under your tree on Christmas morning!

Sweet Treats Onboard the Train

After your special visit with the Christmas couple, passengers ages two and up will be served chocolate drinks and a yummy treat - delivered by the North Pole Express chefs. You can dance with the elves, receive a lovely Christmas keepsake, and relax for the music-filled ride back to the Depot.

Event Details

  • Pick up your preordered tickets at the historic Calera depot.
  • Enjoy festive Christmas décor and photo opportunities on the museum grounds.
  • Food vendors on the grounds will offer warm drinks, dinner options and snacks. No food or drinks may be brought onboard the train.
  • Board the train at your assigned boarding area approximately 15 minutes prior to your departure time.
  • Travel by starlight and Christmas lights while listening to a magical holiday story. Sing along to Christmas carols performed live in one of the train cars and played throughout the train!
  • Arrive at the beautifully lit North Pole where the Christmas Couple will board the train to visit every single child on the train.
  • Take your own sweet photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus onboard the train.
  • Be served a delicious bakery treat and chocolate drink as the Clauses visit the rest of the children on the train and you await your return to the train Depot.

Ticket Information

Please allow extra travel time to increased holiday traffic.

Plan to arrive approximately one hour prior to your scheduled train departure to:

  • Pick up your tickets at the red and yellow Calera Depot next to the train.
  • Use the restrooms at the Gift Shop, as there are no restrooms onboard the train.
  • Visit the food vendors on the grounds.
  • Take photos.
  • Shop the Gift Shop, and
  • Get in position to board the train. Trains board 15 minutes before scheduled departure time.

Ticket Prices

  • Ages 2+ in Coach Cars (Frisco, Long Island, Missouri Pacific Dome Coach, C&NW-B): $28
  • Ages 2+ in Entertainment Coach Car (C&NW-A): $38
  • Ages 2+ in First Class Cars (Silver Maple & Santa Fe): $48
  • Under age 2 seated in an adult’s lap (does not include onboard snacks): FREE -Please reserve your infant's ticket through the online ticket system or before your train at the Calera Depot's ticket window.

Which Car Should We Ride?

Each passenger car on the North Pole Express offers a unique experience for your family. There’s no wrong answer!

  • Chicago & Northwestern Gallery Coach No. 59:
    Enjoy a front row seat in the C&NW-A to watch the train's LIVE entertainment tell a whimsical Christmas tale and perform Christmas songs for everyone on the train! For a live view from further back, relax on the C&NW-B.
    (Seats face each other in groups of four)
  • Silver Maple Coach No. 4741 and Santa Fe Coach No. 2823:
    These gorgeously decorated First Class cars offer upgraded perks, including:
    • The North Pole's finest hot chocolate (served with a souvenir mug)
    • Your choice of one of Mrs. Claus's yummy bakery treats
    • A quality keepsake ornament, and
    • A complimentary glowstick for each child.
    (Seats face each other in groups of four)
  • Frisco Coach No. 1062:
    The Frisco is the most historic car to travel on the North Pole Express. Built in 1910, the car's beautifully decorated interior provides a classical Christmas atmosphere from yesteryear.
    (Side-by-side pairs of seats all face a single direction)
  • Long Island Coach No. 2972:
    Known as the "party car," this large, brightly decorated car offers extra leg room between facing seats -- perfect for the little ones to dance in with elves!
    (Seats face each other in groups of four to six)
  • Missouri Pacific Dome Coach No. 892:

    This unique car offers not only comfortable Lower level seating, but also a smaller upper level covered by a glass planetarium dome!
    (Lower level seats face each other in groups of four)

    When you purchase the Upper Dome seats (ONLY), you'll travel by starlight and get the first view of the North Pole Lights from above.
    (Upper Dome seats are in side-by-side pairs, all facing a single direction)

Get Tickets


Note: Ticket prices include taxes but not convenience fee. $3.00/ticket purchased on web or $4.00/ticket if purchased through the ticket call center at (205) 757-8383.

Please Note:

Our team has worked hard to ensure a safe and relaxing time for your family onboard our train. Please be sure to follow all verbal directions from your car hosts and adhere to all posted safety and sanitation guidelines on the train and throughout the grounds.

Be Aware of Federal Health Mandates:

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum operates under the guidelines of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). COVID restrictions regarding masks, social distancing, etc. will be based on any active FRA mandates at the time of the event.

Limited Accessible Seating Available:

If someone in your party needs to reserve a space for a wheelchair, please add all other passengers' tickets to your order first and at checkout, you will be asked to add the ADA space reservation to complete your order.

Infant Tickets

Children 0-24 months ride free of charge though required to sit in an adult’s lap at all times. When ordering your tickets, select "Coach Infant" for no additional charge. If you did not order an infant ticket with your initial order, notify the ticket agent upon your arrival at the Calera Depot that you have a child 0-24 months that will sit in your lap, and you will receive an infant ticket. For your safety, strollers and infant car seat carriers are not permitted aboard the train.

Wheelchair Accessibility

Our train has wheelchair accessible accommodations on the Long Island 2972 and Open Air Car 1121. Wheelchair loading and unloading occurs at the Calera Depot with a MobiLift wheelchair lift. We do not have wheelchair boarding capabilities at stops such as Ozan Winery. Note: A person in your party must be in a wheelchair to purchase this ticket. This is only a space for a wheelchair, no seat is provided.

Click here for more accessibility information.

Refreshments

Snacks and drinks are available for purchase at our Gift Shop and at the Meadow. Purchases at the Meadow are for cash only.

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum's policy is that no food or drinks be brought on the train. Please finish your refreshments before boarding the train at the depot. This policy also applies to any intermediate train stops where food or drinks may be sold.

Restrooms

There are no working restrooms on our vintage railcars. Please use the restroom at the Gift Shop prior to boarding.