Whether you grew up with the book, the movie, or both, The Polar Express has been a holiday mainstay ever since its first publication in 1985. The tale reminds us that “seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” The Polar Express has been a hit in my household for years. One year, my parents got me a Believing Bell from the movie, which I still cherish to this day.

One Hudson Valley tradition that the Catskill Mountain Railroad has offered is The Polar Express Train Ride, licensed out by Rail Events Inc. It is an incredible way of experiencing the magic of the story and heightens anyone’s holiday spirit. Experience the magic of the book and movie firsthand in the brightly decorated 1950's vintage coaches!

The Catskill Mountain Railroad in Kingston, NY


The Catskill Mountain Railroad is a heritage railroad based in Kingston, New York, that began operations in 1982. The Catskill Mountain Railroad is a for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the railroad corridor for all-season recreational use. All shareholders are also volunteers on the railroad. They depend on ticket sales and volunteer efforts to operate and make continuous improvements.

The Polar Express Rides Again in the Hudson Valley


Can you believe that you can make it from Kingston to the North Pole and back in one single day? You'll be a believer when you relive the magic of the holiday classic, The Polar Express with the Catskill Mountain Railroad.

The magical train ride is an immersive trip including the sounds of the motion picture along with sights and characters as you read along with the original book written by Chris Van Allsburg. Once aboard, the Conductor will work their way through the coach and punch your golden ticket as you’re served hot chocolate and a delicious cookie by our dancing chefs!

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Once at The North Pole, Santa and his Elves board the train to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell.

During the trip, characters on each car lead passengers in caroling and on board entertainment – just like in the film! Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell in addition to the wonderful memories made on this unforgettable adventure.

The Polar Express Prides Itself on Accessibility

Just as Christmas is meant to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone, so is The Polar Express. Catskill Mountain Railroad offers special reserved seating for families with sensory sensitivities. In these seats, the audio and lighting levels will be softer. There is also reserved wheelchair seating aboard The Polar Express. 

To reserve these seats, Catskill Mountain Railroad asks that you please call 845-332-4854, and they will help you with the accommodations.

The Hudson Valley Agrees That The Polar Express is a Magical Experience

Just as watching the movie or reading the book have become annual traditions for families in and around the Hudson Valley around the holidays, so is visiting Catskill Mountain Railroad.

Here are some of the testimonials left on their site:

“For children, especially my grandchildren, this was the best Santa train ride they had been on and the have been on one every year since they could walk.”

– vlcnyc (from tripadvisor.com), Staten Island, NY

YouTube/Catskill Mountain Railroad
YouTube/Catskill Mountain Railroad

“Nothing like the Polar Express thru the eyes of a child or 2 Grandmas who just wanted to go… Well done !!!!”

– Jill Short

YouTube/Catskill Mountain Railroad
YouTube/Catskill Mountain Railroad


“Staff is on point, pay so much attention to the kids, engaging them with song and dance, etc!!”

– Allison Phillips


The Polar Express Train Ride with the Catskill Mountain Railroad will be going on from now until December 29th. To reserve your seat aboard The Polar Express, visit their website!

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