Here’s Your Definitive Guide To The Polar Express in Palestine, Texas.


Are you planning a vacation to Palestine, Texas, to see the Polar Express? Everything you need to know about the iconic Christmas train excursion may be found here. 

Texas is one of our favorite destinations to visit during the holidays.

Christmas festivities for all ages may be found throughout Texas, including seasonal lights, ice festivals, train excursions, and more.

One of Texas’ best Christmas train trips is the Palestine Polar Express.

In Texas, the Polar Express Train Ride is a fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit.

It’s also a fantastic chance for families to try something new and festive.

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You can:- Book tickets here.

Take your own book

Bring your copy of The Polar Express book to keep the youngsters entertained as you read along with the staff.
It’s a lot more enjoyable than waiting for the book to be passed around!
You can also request that Santa Claus sign your book.
You might be able to purchase the book at the depot’s gift shop, but it’ll be expensive compared to online deals!

Prepare the atmosphere ahead of time.

Make use of the ‘belief’ power!
A week before your trip, read The Polar Express book and see the Polar Express movie.
The story will be fresh in your children’s thoughts, and they will be able to relate to the experience better.
This is particularly true for toddlers and preschoolers, who have a penchant for forgetting things.
If you have children who are easily overwhelmed, preparing them for the experience and providing useful aids in books and videos is essential!

What is the location of Palestine, Texas?

Palestine, Texas, is a small community in Anderson County, located in East Texas’ Piney Woods region.

It’s a great day trip from either Dallas or Houston.

Tourists can visit the Davey Dogwood Park and Museum for East Texas Culture, located close.

It is also adjacent to Lake Palestine, where you may go boating, fishing, camping, and hiking.

Palestine, what is the Polar Express?

During the holiday season, the Texas State Railroad runs the Polar Express, a Christmas train.

The inaugural Polar Express train arrived in Palestine in 2007, and it quickly became one of Texas’ favorite holiday traditions!

Despite the pandemic, the 2020 Annual Polar Express train excursion from Palestine, Texas, transported a record-breaking number of passengers!

So, what is the Polar Express, exactly?

More Guides to Christmas in Texas

The Polar Express Train Ride in Texas is a fun holiday event based on the novel “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg.

This train ride includes Santa Claus, Christmas music, hot cocoa, and cookies!

On their voyage, families can sing holiday songs with their fellow passengers and witness the fascinating narrative of the Polar Express come to life.


The Magic of the Polar Express

So, what exactly are you getting when you buy tickets to the Polar Express?

Here’s what happens when you arrive at the Palestine Railroad Depot for the Christmas train excursion.

It’s as if you’ve stepped into an enchanted fairy kingdom when you enter the Depot.

Twinkling lights, wreaths, and ribbons adorn the Palestine Railroad Depot, the engine, and the train cars.

The Depot’s trees are also decked out in dazzling lights.

Everything looks and smells like Christmas!

(By the way, did you know you can buy Christmas perfumes in bottles? Perfect if you, like me, enjoy being reminded of Christmas throughout the

Families and children will be all around you, holding their golden tickets and watching wide-eyed at the station’s action.

What’s in a jar? Perfect if you, like me, enjoy being reminded of Christmas throughout the year!)  

Everyone is welcome to board. Yes, yes

The Polar Express magic begins as soon as the historic steam engine pulls the train out of the Depot.

The train conductor punches the Polar Express Golden Ticket, clothed like in the novel and movie!

The soundtrack from the Polar Express movie plays in the background while the coaches are filled with chugging sounds, whistles, and sleigh bells.

More Texas Travel Guides for Families

The beautiful railroad crew serves hot chocolate and cookies, who are dancing and dressed as elves!

The staff then recites the incredible story of The Polar Express, which they pass around in a large book for everyone to read.

During the train ride, some of the movie characters, including the Hobo, make an appearance, much to the children’s pleasure!

Santa Claus and the North Pole!

The Polar Express train then makes its way to the North Pole, just a 25-minute drive from Palestine, Texas.

Even though you can’t get off the train, everyone gets a view of the North Pole through the carriage windows.

There are elves, reindeers, a giant Christmas tree, and, of course, fake snow at the North Pole!

Santa Claus is picked up by the train at the North Pole!

When Santa Claus boarded the train, the children went insane.

They swarm around Santa Claus, taking pictures with him, asking him to sign train tickets and Polar Express books, and telling him what they want for Christmas!

Santa Claus gently talks with all of the children and presents them with a silver bell, telling them to believe in magic!

The return journey of the Polar Express to Palestine is filled with music, Christmas carols, and dancing.

Seating possibilities for the Polar Express

The Polar Express has a lot of different seating options, which can be difficult for first-timers.

Here’s everything you need to know about the various vehicles.

Dome Class!

The cars include premium leather seats and big curving picture windows that reach the ceiling.

To pair with your hot chocolate and cookies, you’ll get Keepsake mugs!

The dome car seats roughly 60 passengers, so they don’t sell out as quickly – especially given the price!

The steam train will cost around $100 per adult and a little less per child on busy days.

Is it worth it? Yes!

We’ve traveled in both dome and coach classes, and nothing compares to the magical experience of the Dome glass!
polar express

Presidential class

Coach 1511 and Coach 42 are the presidential cars on the train!

Both include comfy seats and a table where you may place your hot chocolate mug.

Both cars are old and beautiful.

Presidential coach 1511 is ideal for couples because of its intimate setting style, but Presidential coach 42 is great for families because of its luxurious couches.

Families with newborns or lap children under the age of two will appreciate the large and deep comfy couches.

They do, however, have limited seating and can sell out quickly.

These tickets include the Keepsake mugs as well as spectacular views.

The cost is comparable to that of The Dome class.

First-class service

The Keepsake Polar Express mugs are also available in first-class and comfortable padded seats with a tabletop.

This is a beautiful mid-tier alternative for families with small children that require a tabletop to prevent spills.

The First Class experience is more functional and convenient than luxurious.

Depending on the diesel vs. steam train, tickets range from $70 to $80.

Coach class

If you’re seeking a cheap way to travel the Polar Express in Palestine, this is your best bet.

The vehicles are enclosed, air-conditioned, and have padded seats.

However, there is no space between the two seats for a tabletop.

This option is best for older children who can be trusted to keep their hot chocolate mugs steady throughout the ride.

In addition, the coach class lacks Keepsake mugs, and beverages are supplied in Styrofoam cups.

Do you want to sign up for the coach class with your younger children?

It is possible, but you will need to plan ahead of time.

Carry a reusable and portable drink carrier to hold your drinks and free up your hands for activities like snapping photos with Santa and reading the book.

Frequently Asked Questions about Palestine by Polar Express

Here is some information on the Palestine Polar Express train ride in Texas that will assist you in planning your trip.

Palestine FAQs from Polar Express

Here is some helpful information on the Palestine Express train ride in Texas to assist you in planning your trip.

Booking the Polar Express: A Few Points to Consider

Before you reserve your tickets for the magical train excursion, keep the following in mind.

When should tickets be purchased?

The Christmas train tickets tend to sell out quickly.

To receive your chosen time or peak days, purchase tickets at the end of the summer or early in the fall.

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