The PolarExpress
Thank you for a wonderful 2020 Polar Express! We are actively working to establish our 2021 holiday schedule and will post this information at a later date!

Texas State Railroad located in Palestine, Texas presents


 Thank you for a wonderful 2020 Polar Express!

The magical story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. (The adventure is even more fun when families and friends show up in their pajamas!)

Enveloped by the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the tale as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Once onboard, chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies as they recite the classic children’s book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. (Be sure to purchase a book along with your tickets so your child can read his/her own book along with the chefs.)

At the North Pole, Santa and his elves greet passengers and then board the train. St. Nick gives everyone the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell (only believers can hear ringing!). On the ride back to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train depot, chefs lead passengers in singing joyous Christmas carols.

Make sure to purchase the official POLAR EXPRESS™ book for your child when you make your reservations. Gift-wrapped as their first gift of the season, they can read along with the Coco Chefs aboard the magical journey to the North Pole.


The sky-high Dome Class is located in the doubledecker Dome Car, complete with keepsake POLAR EXPRESS™ mugs, hot chocolate and cookies.

Seats are limited in the exclusive Presidential Class where keepsake POLAR EXPRESS™ mugs, hot chocolate and cookies make this a truly magical experience. Please note there is no access to viewing platform during Polar Express train rides.

First Class features couches, chairs or booth settings for parties of two or four along with keepsake POLAR EXPRESS™ mugs, hot chocolate and cookies.

The classes listed below do NOT include keepsake POLAR EXPRESS™ mugs.

Coach Class has historic Pullman-style seating for two. Hot chocolate and cookies are served by dancing Cocoa chefs.

All cars have large viewing windows, thrilling children as they get their first glimpse of Santa and the North Pole.

Silver Bells

Only children (age 12 and under) will be receiving a silver bell from Santa this year.

We simply didn’t receive the bells this year due to the shipping extensions, restrictions caused by covid-19 and source material from other countries and cannot give a bell to every passenger onboard The Polar Express.

Polar Express Frequently-asked Questions

Length of Ride

The round-trip train ride is approximately 60 minutes long.

Included in Ticket Price

All tickets include train ride, hot chocolate and sugar cookies.  First-class, Dome and Presidential-class passengers receive a complimentary keepsake POLAR EXPRESS™ mug.

Picking Up Tickets

Tickets are picked up at the ticket window on the day of departure. (We do not mail tickets in advance.)

CONFIRMATIONS: Please note, when making your reservation you are required to “acknowledge” the understanding that you are riding THE POLAR EXPRESS™ at Texas State Railroad in Palestine, TX.

You will receive a confirmation email from Texas State Railroad [] after your purchase. We recommend checking your spam folder if you do not receive this email in your inbox.

Clothing for Event

Pajamas for children of all ages is encouraged!  Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Jackets are recommended for time outdoors and when waiting to board the train.

Adult with Lap Child (One-Year-Old or Younger)

The purchase of an adult ticket with a lap-child ticket guarantees ONE seat.  For the safety and comfort of all passengers, only one lap-child ticket may be purchased per one adult.  (If you would like a seat for your one-year-old child, you may purchase a child’s ticket.)

Food Service during the Train Ride

Hot chocolate and cookies are served onboard the train.  No outside food or drink is permitted. Food is available for purchase at the depot prior to and after the train ride.

Food Allergies

We cannot ensure that the hot chocolate or cookies presented on the train do not contain ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction.  Please call a representative at 855-632-7729 to inquire about food allergy allowances.

Reservations made with odd numbers of tickets

All seating is configured in even numbers. To ensure that an odd number of people in your party do sit together, you will need to purchase an even amount of seats, meaning 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.

Multiple Parties Seated Together

To ensure that multiple family members or groups are seated together, the reservation should be secured by one person under one confirmation number.  If reservations are made separately, there is no guarantee of sitting in the same car.

Wheelchair Accessibility

The train only can accommodate a limited number of wheelchair patrons per each train departure.  Please call a representative at 855-632-7729 to book your tickets for the entire party with a wheelchair passenger.

Departure Site

All POLAR EXPRESS™ train rides depart from Texas State Railroad’s Palestine depot located at 789 Park Road 70, Palestine, TX 75801

Pricing/Cancellation Policy

Due to the popularity of this event, there are no discounts available for POLAR EXPRESS™ tickets and, once purchased, there are no refunds or cancellations. Please be aware of your ride date and time.

Cancellation Exception: If Texas State Railroad is unable to provide you with the schedule train ride you booked a reservation for, a full refund will be given.

Arrival Time

Please check-in at least 30 minutes prior to ticketed departure time. Please note, tickets are non-refundable. Missed trains will not be refunded.


THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters TM & © 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. (s20)
The Polar Express COVID19 Notice 
Texas State Railroad is committed to doing all that it can to maintain the health and safety of our guests and team members. We will do our part to keep you safe, but we can’t do it alone. Guests of Texas State Railroad are invitees to private property and, as such, are required to follow all Texas State Railroad policies. These policies have been reviewed and approved by local government officials and are key to everyone having a safe and enjoyable experience.
For the safety of you and your fellow passengers here are 9 simple practices we ask you to consider prior to your train ride:
1. If you feel sick, please stay home – we will reschedule your reservation for when you feel 100%.
2. In accordance with the request of our local government, customers are required to wear masks.
3. We are asking that only person from each party pick up tickets at the reservation counter.
4. Prior to entering the depot to pick up tickets or purchase lunch, we will be taking temperatures. If you have a temperature over 100.4 degrees, we will be happy to refund you and your group and schedule your party to ride another day.
5. Please cover your mouth to cough and turn away from other individuals.
6. Wash your hands often.
7. Use provided sanitizer.
8. Respect the space of others and make every attempt to social distance.
9. Throw all trash into provided receptacles.
Disclaimer – In boarding Texas State Railroad you understand the hazards of Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and acknowledge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidelines regarding COVID-19. You further acknowledge and understand that the circumstances regarding COVID-19 are changing from day to day and that, accordingly, the CDC guidelines are regularly modified and updated and accept full responsibility for familiarizing yourself with the most recent updates and are fully complying with such guidelines.
Texas State Railroad is the ONLY licensed, authentically presented, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ in the state of Texas.
Payment/Cancellation Policy for Polar Express train rides: Once a reservation is made, and payment is received, there are no refunds given or cancellations accepted.
Click above to see 2019 opening night festivities! Click below for 2018 fun!
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Because of special, incidental or consequential situations that may be out of our control, Texas State Railroad reserves the right to adjust our operation between the date of your booking and the day of departure. These changes could include (but not be limited to): locomotive power for the day, passenger car assignments, layover and/or meal time during the four-hour ride and departure and/or arrival times. Thanking you in advance for your consideration.