A Magical Christmastime Tradition
“All Aboard!”, calls the conductor, and your family's magical journey to the beautiful 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.
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.
The North Pole Express train ride lasts approximately 1½ hours including the train ride through the forest and time spent relaxing onboard the train while stationed at the North Pole. But your North Pole Express adventure will make lasting Christmas memories for you and your family for years to come! For even more festive fun, be sure to wear your pajamas for the ride!
- Pick up your preordered tickets at the historic train depot (ALL tickets must be ordered in advance)
- 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.
Plan to arrive approximately 60 minutes prior to your scheduled train departure. Traffic is persistently unpredictable and difficult to navigate. Having some time to spare upon arrival will give you relaxed time 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
- Get in position to board the train.
- Ages 2+ in Coach Cars (Frisco, Long Island, Lower Eagle, Upper Dome, 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
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)
- Lower EAGLE & Upper DOME Coach No. 892:
This unique car offers not only comfortable Lower Eagle seating, but also a smaller upper level covered by a glass planetarium dome! (Lower Eagle 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)
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.
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.
Mask Wearing is Required:
Masks are required while aboard all Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum (HODRRM) trains and also while on museum property. This requirement is in compliance with an Emergency Order issued on March 1, 2021 by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). HODRRM operates as a Class III railroad (reporting mark: CSMX) which places it under the jurisdiction of the FRA.
Within the last 14 days, if you have experienced unusual occurrences of fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell or nausea had contact with a person with a positive or presumed positive COVID-19 case, Please Protect Yourself And Others By Choosing To Not Ride The Train At This Time.
Stay on Track!
Upon arrival at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, please stay on track by agreeing to follow these guidelines:
The train ride lasts approximately 60 minutes. Pre-purchased tickets may be safely picked up at the Depot, or tickets may be purchased on-site the day 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.
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.
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.
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.
There are no working restrooms on our vintage railcars. Please use the restroom at the Gift Shop prior to boarding.