THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

A Family Tradition

Live the magical journey of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

Enjoy this magical family event! The evening begins in our passenger station where you will be entertained by Polar Express characters, enjoy hot chocolate and a sweet treat courtesy of our hot chocolate chefs, and then board your train to the north pole. Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf — Santa himself — will come on board to give each passenger the first gift of Christmas, a silver sleigh bell.

Buy Tickets Now!

Ticket Information

Departure Dates and Times

November 26 - December 19, 2021

Wednesday - Friday

3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm & 8:00pm

Saturday - Sunday
2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm & 8:00pm

Prices

Matinees 2:00pm & 3:30pm
First Class: $65 per passenger
Coach Class: $45 per passenger

Evenings 5:00pm, 6:30pm & 8:00pm
First Class: $70 per passenger
Coach Class: $50 per passenger

Children aged 2 and under ride free on an adult lap.

Buy Tickets Now!

Member Presale & Public On Sale Dates

Become a member by August 30th to participate in the presale!

Click Here For Membership Information

Member Presale Dates

September 7-17 Silver Spike, Gold Spike and Platinum Spike members by phone only at 916-445-8242

September 21 – Bronze Spike members

September 22 – Trainmaster, Engineer, Yardmaster and Freight Agent members

September 23 Conductor, Fireman, Telegrapher and Hostler members

September 24 – Caboose Club, Brakeman, Handcar Club and Switchman members

September 26 – Member Pre-Sale Ends

Public On Sale Begins September 28

Car Descriptions

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Sacramento consists of seven separate cars pulled by vintage locomotives from the California State Railroad Museum’s collection. On board you will be seated in either Coach, Open Air or First Class according to your ticket purchase. Guests in each car will experience the same excitement and wonder of
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

Open Air Car

Sleigh Ride Open Air Car

C’mon it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you and yours. The Sleigh Ride Car is a unique addition to our Polar Express Train, and holds up to 76 passengers. These converted open air cars have translucent plastic window coverings to keep any frightful weather at bay, while still allowing for a magical view. Think of it as your cozy sleigh ride to the North Pole. Tickets are sold by tables of four, and guests are invited to bring along a blanket and snuggle up together like four birds of a feather would be.

Pricing

Matinees: $180 per table of four seats.
Evenings: $200 per table of four seats.

Buy Tickets Now!

Coach Cars

Katy Coach Car

The Katy Car is our largest coach which holds up to 76 passengers. The seats are comfortable loveseat style for groups of four facing each other, two on each side.

Pricing

Matinees: $45 per passenger.
Evenings: $50 per passenger.

Buy Tickets Now!

Kris Kringle Coach Car

The seats are comfortable loveseat style for groups of four facing each other, two on each side. The Kris Kringle Car holds up to 64 passengers.

Pricing

Matinees: $45 per passenger.
Evenings: $50 per passenger.

Buy Tickets Now!

Gingerbread Coach Car

The Gingerbread Car seats up to 52 passengers in chair-style seating with sets of two chairs in groups of four facing each other.

Pricing

Matinees: $45 per passenger.
Evenings: $50 per passenger.

Buy Tickets Now!

First Class Cars

Join us in our first class cars where you will ride in our most luxurious and spacious cars and take home a collectable souvenir Polar Express Trian Ride™ mug.

Audubon Dining Car

The Dining Car also known as the Audubon - thanks to hand-painted reproductions of the artist/naturalist John James Audubon's bird illustrations - holds 44 passengers. Groups of four passengers are seated around a small table. Tickets are sold by tables of four.

Pricing

Matinees: $260 per table of four seats.
Evenings: $280 per table of four seats.

Buy Tickets Now!

French Quarter Lounge Car

The French Quarter Car was inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter, with wrought iron details and a “Sunset Pink” painted ceiling studded with stars. Complete with its own serving bar, the French Quarter has large windows and a combination of tables, settees and lounge-style chairs. The French Quarter holds 35 passengers.

Pricing

Matinees: $65 per passenger.
Evenings: $70 per passenger.

Buy Tickets Now!

El Dorado Observation Car

The beautifully restored First Class Observation Car is called the El Dorado. This handsome 1920s lounge car offers large windows and comfortable seating. The car is divided into two sections: The Parlor and the Lounge. Passengers in both locations are free to move about the car and step out onto the observation platform.

Buy Tickets Now!

The El Dorado Parlor

A private interior room decorated with stained glass interior windows and tufted leatherette seats. The Parlor has comfortable seating groups for two, four, or more and holds up to 18 passengers.

Pricing

Matinees: $65 per passenger.
Evenings: $70 per passenger.

Buy Tickets Now!

The El Dorado Lounge

A section that seats up to 18 passengers on burgundy sofas and chairs facing each other.

Pricing

Matinees: $65 per passenger.
Evenings: $70 per passenger.

Buy Tickets Now!

Policies and Rules

  • All sales are final.
  • Purchasers who wish to donate unused tickets back to the nonprofit CSRM Foundation will be given a tax letter of donation for the full amount of the tickets.
  • Exchanges are based on availability and are subject to a $10 per seat exchange fee. $10 per ticket or $40 per table of four.
  • Only one exchange per ticket will be allowed.
  • Exchange requests should be submitted to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride – Hotline at (916) 445-8270.

General Ticket Policies

  • Tickets are subject to service fees which vary between $7 and $8 depending on the sales outlet.
  • Tickets may be delivered digitally, by mail or held at the ticket window for pickup on the day of departure. Ticket delivery method is at the choice of the purchaser.
  • Children under 2 years old do not require a ticket, but must be seated on the lap of an adult while on board the train.

Member Advance Ticket Sales Policies

  • Members of the California State Railroad Museum and Railtown 1897 are allowed to purchase THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets in advance of the general public.
  • Members are not guaranteed to get tickets during Member Advance Ticket Sales, merely the opportunity to try to purchase tickets in advance of the general public.
  • New, renewing or upgrading memberships should have been active and current as of August 30, 2021 to participate in Member Advance Ticket Sales.
  • Members must have their membership ID number when ordering tickets.
  • Member households may purchase a maximum of eight individual tickets or two tables of four, per location, during Member Advance Ticket Sales.

Resale & Monetization

Our policy strictly prohibits the resale or attempted resale of any tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride for personal profit. Additionally, the use of public advertising – such as but not limited to eBay and Craigslist – to resell tickets is not permitted. Either action will result in the immediate cancellation of the tickets. Tickets may not be raffled, used as auction items or otherwise monetized without the express written permission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation.


ACCESS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Sacramento is not fully accessible to persons with disabilities, due to historic, limited doorway widths and steep stepwells within the train cars. However, our train crews are always pleased to lend assistance when boarding and alighting from the train (provided wheelchairs or other oversize assistive devices are not required during the trip). Please notify the train crew prior to boarding, so we may best meet your needs.

The California State Railroad Museum and related event activities are fully accessible to persons with disabilities, except as noted above. If you require special accommodation, please notify us in advance of your visit by emailing [email protected] or by calling THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride – Sacramento Hotline at (916) 445-8270.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on September 28, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Tickets can only be purchased online through this website.
Yes, we encourage you to join the California State Railroad Museum or Railtown 1897 State Historic Park to learn about upcoming events and exhibits. Members receive advance notification and advance purchase opportunities for events such as THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride as well as other great benefits (click here for more information on membership). However, all new memberships should be purchased, or existing memberships should be renewed and active, by August 30, 2021 in order to participate in 2021 Member Advance Ticket Sales. If purchasing after the deadline, contact the Membership Department to verify presale eligibility.

Please note - membership does NOT guarantee your purchase of tickets. Members have the opportunity to purchase up to 8 individual tickets or 2 tables of four per member household during Member Advance Ticket Sales. Available tickets are limited and sell out very quickly.
Yes. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ tickets are sold primarily online. Callers looking to purchase tickets can contact THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Hotline via our ticketing partner, eTix, at (919) 321-6160 for assistance.
Each ticket includes THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride; admission to the Central Pacific Passenger Station where you will pick up your Golden Ticket, shop, and enjoy entertainment while you wait to board the train; and admission to the Eagle Theater where you may meet Santa.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will last approximately one hour. You will enter the Central Pacific Passenger Station and are free to enjoy our holiday store, take photos, enjoy hot chcolate and a yummy treat or post a letter to Santa himself! Your pre-boarding stage show will begin 40 minutes prior to departure.

Once on board the train, you will travel to the North Pole while we read the story of The Polar Express. As the train passes the North Pole, you will catch a glimpse of Santa and his elves while the train readies for the return trip. As you head back to Old Sacramento, Santa will come aboard and walk through each car to give out the “first gift of Christmas” — the silver sleigh bell — to each passenger. We will all join in and sing Christmas carols as we pull into the station in Old Sacramento. Once you depart the train, walk across the walkway to the Eagle Theatre, where Santa will be available to spend more time and visit with your child.
First Class tickets are limited in number and usually sell out first. The ticket for the El Dorado Observation Car will indicate whether you are seated in the Parlor or Lounge section. In the Audubon Dining Car, your tickets will entitle you to one table for your party of four. Each ticketed passenger will receive hot chocolate served in a commemorative mug. First Class Stewards are assigned to each section of the cars.
Tickets are digital this year, and will be emailed out to passengers one week out from their departure date. If you prefer to pick up your tickets at Will Call on the day of your departure, you will be charged $5.00 upon checkout. Every party will receive a Golden Ticket when they check in for their train ride.

Additional ticketing details will be included when you receive your e-tickets prior to your train ride.
There will be no refunds for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

Ticket exchanges are based on availability. Any available exchanges are subject to the $10 per ticket or $40 per table exchange fee (this includes exchanges between cars). Contact THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Hotline via our ticketing partner, eTix, at (919) 321-6160 with any exchange requests.
No. However, a limited number of tickets will occasionally become available through cancellations. Tickets will be placed for sale on our website as they become available, and we recommend checking the website periodically for tickets.

You also have the option to purchase tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at our sister site, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, in Jamestown, CA, starting October 11, 2021.
If you currently have tickets, you may contact THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Hotline via our ticketing partner, eTix, at (919) 321-6160, Additional tickets are subject to availability.
Departure times for your ride on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are exact. Missed train rides cannot be taken later. We suggest you arrive at least 1 hour prior to your departure time to allow for parking and walking to the Central Pacific Passenger Station. The pre-boarding stage show will start 40 minutes prior to departure.
Of course that’s part of the fun! We encourage the whole family to dress in your warmest pajamas and bring your book for the Conductor to sign if you wish. Do be sure to dress warmly enough to walk comfortably to and from your car, and make sure that everyone in your party is wearing appropriate footwear. You will be traversing streets with packed granite soil and wooden boardwalks to reach the event’s starting point in the Central Pacific Passenger Station in Old Sacramento. The Passenger Station is covered but not heated and open to the elements. The train cars are nice and warm for your trip.
Strollers and baby carriers are not allowed aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, due to narrow aisles aboard the train and the need for crews to freely move about during the trip. You may keep your stroller with you while inside the Passenger Station. Stroller parking will be available just prior to boarding of your train. A convenient location is designated for this purpose, and strollers will be guarded while your train is journeying to the North Pole!
There are no restrooms aboard the train. The ride is one-hour long. Restrooms are available in the Central Pacific Passenger Station.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Sacramento is not fully accessible to persons with disabilities, due to historic, narrow doorway widths and steep stepwells within the train cars. If you have specific questions regarding accessibility prior to purchasing tickets, please contact us at (916) 445-8270.

The California State Railroad Museum and related event activities are fully accessible to persons with disabilities, except as noted above.
Food will not be available at the actual event site — except for the hot chocolate and small treat aboard the train during the ride. If you wish to come early or stay later after the ride, there are a variety of restaurants throughout the Old Sacramento Historic District, catering to every kind of clientele. Visit www.oldsacramento.com for more details.
Winter wind, rain or other adverse conditions are possible. Please check weather conditions prior to your visit, and dress accordingly. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will operate as scheduled, regardless of weather. Although under cover, the Central Pacific Passenger Station is an open-sided building and not heated.
By Auto: Exit Interstate 5 in Downtown Sacramento at “J” Street, and follow the overhead signs to Old Sacramento (J Street to 5th, left onto 5th, left onto “I”, straight ahead to Old Sacramento). Remember: If you have reserved a weekday departure, please allow sufficient time to reach Old Sacramento regardless of rush hour travel conditions. By Amtrak: the Sacramento train depot is just two blocks from Old Sacramento and the Museum. Amtrak’s Capitols offer frequent service from the Bay Area; San Joaquins from Fresno/Modesto. For routes, fares, and reservations call 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit www.amtrak.com
On-street metered parking throughout Old Sacramento is time-limited to 90 minutes or less. Therefore, we recommend parking in one of the City of Sacramento’s Downtown/Old Sacramento public parking lots. The nearest and most reasonably priced one is located on “I” Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets, underneath Interstate 5 in Old Sacramento. An online map of City Parking Garages in the Downtown/Old Sacramento area may be accessed here.
Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum, and all of the City of Sacramento are served by Sacramento Regional Transit busses and Light Rail lines. Light Rail trains travel to and from the Sacramento train depot, just two blocks from Old Sacramento and the Railroad Museum. For details, call Regional Transit at (916) 321-2877 or visit www.sacrt.com.
Check out nearby hotels that are within walking distance of Old Sacramento. Additionally, the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau can recommend a number of hotels and attractions in the area, or the Bureau will be happy to mail you a complete Sacramento Visitors Guide upon request. The Bureau provides callers with information between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PT Monday-Friday at (916) 264-7777, or visit www.visitsacramento.com anytime.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event will feature a variety of themed merchandise. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted. An extensive selection of railroad-related merchandise is also available from the California State Railroad Museum Store, along with souvenirs, books, videos, posters and gifts. The Museum Store will operate its regular hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the event. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Sacramento also features a store in the Central Pacific Passenger Station, which is open from 2:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on each day of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. To order before or after your visit, call (916) 324-4950 or visit the Museum Store online.
All federal, state, and local health directives (to include masking, distancing, and other precautionary measures) will be enforced. These measures are subject to change and will be a condition of participating in this year's event.

If you have specific questions regarding COVID-19 protocol, please contact us at (916) 445-8270.

Have Questions?

For additional information, contact:

Phone: 916-445-8270

keyboard_arrow_up