Take a magical train ride aboard the Polar Express in Maine

The Polar Express engine in Portland, Maine. —Courtesy of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

Put on your coziest pajamas and get your ticket ready for punching — the Polar Express awaits.

At the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum in Portland, Maine, the whole family can share in bringing Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book to life. Guests board a train outfitted with holiday decorations and meet the conductor before setting off  on the 1.5-mile journey along the Casco Bay to the “North Pole.” Hot chocolate and cookies are served during a reading of the holiday classic while the steam locomotive chugs along.

Some young passengers at the Ocean Gateway train depot. —Courtesy of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

Passengers stay inside once reaching the “North Pole,” but Santa Claus climbs on board to greet children and offer each one a bell. Everyone can lend their voices to a caroling session on the way home. The train ride itself lasts about 45 minutes.


The Polar Express makes trips Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, and tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 207-842-0800. Tickets for anyone ages 2 and up are $29 for coach, which is selling out fast.