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Guide to Holiday Trains in Indiana

Picture this: Your family all dressed in pajamas snuggled together, covered in blankets, with a fire crackling in the fireplace. Next to you sit bowls filled with buttery popcorn and mugs of steaming hot cocoa covered with melted marshmallows. Your children watch wide-eyed as The Polar Express zooms across the screen headed for the North Pole. As they hear the roar of the engine and sound of the whistle blow, they wonder what it would be like to be aboard the train.

Whether it’s a scene like that, a train track assembled carefully under the Christmas tree or a train ride destined for a holiday shopping spree, trains and Christmas go hand-in-hand. And now your child won’t just have to wonder what it’s like to be a passenger.


2019 Guide to Holiday Trains in Indiana:

The Polar Bear Express

Head to the North Pole and enjoy stories, songs, cookies, and hot chocolate along the way! Mr. Claus himself may even climb aboard. Don’t miss out on this magical experience! The Polar Bear Express runs select days, November 30 – December 22. All passengers board in Logansport, Indiana. Click here to learn more and get tickets.

Holiday Trains in Indiana | The Polar Express
Photo Credit:

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Santa Train

Explore Santa’s railroad workshop, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and climb aboard his red caboose during the 17th Annual Santa Train, snow or shine! Tickets are $7.00 each and children under 3 are free. Each trip is operated by a vintage diesel locomotive and lasts approximately 20 minutes. All food and drink sold separately. Trains run December 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 9:00am – 5:00pm on Saturdays and 12:00 – 5:00pm on Sundays. Due to demand, tickets must be purchased in advance.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Santa Train Holiday Trains in Indiana | The Polar Express
Meet Santa on the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Santa Train; Photo Credit:

French Lick Scenic Railway: The Polar Express Train Ride

Set to the sounds of the beloved movie soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical 80-minute trip through a rail yard, neighborhoods, and through a tunnel on the way to The North Pole. The conductor will come through to punch your ticket, and Santa and his helpers board the train to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell (to take home!). On the return trip from the North Pole, elves on each car lead passengers in caroling and onboard entertainment. Kids under 2 are free. Coach tickets are $35 each, First Class tickets are $60 each, and Dome Class tickets are $70 each. Get your tickets today!

French Lick Scenic Railway Polar Express Train Ride; Photo Credit: Holiday Trains in Indiana | The Polar Express
French Lick Scenic Railway Polar Express Train Ride; Photo Credit:

The Whitewater Valley Railroad Polar Express

The Polar Express comes to life when the train departs Connersville’s Grand Central Station for a journey through the quiet countryside for a special stop at the “North Pole” to allow Santa Claus to board the Polar Express. Guests on board will enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie while listening and reading along with the magical story.

Dates for this year’s exciting event will be November 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30; December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15. Prices for 2019 are $36 per person ages 2 and up. Tickets are on sale now online or by calling the Whitewater Valley Railroad Grand Central Station at (765) 825-2054.


Reindeer Ride Express

Your favorite holiday tradition is back! On Bright Night, see the historic train all lit up in Christmas lights. Take a hour and fifteen minute ride through Central Indiana while singing Christmas carols and sipping hot chocolate. Ride includes a cookie and a gift from Santa. Adult beverages available for purchase on board. Visit with Santa in the red caboose. Runs select days November 23 – December 14. Tickets start at $35 for adults and $30 for children 3-12. Children under 3 ride free. Purchase tickets here.

Sullivan Santa Express

Have you been dreaming of a family trip to the North Pole? Well look no further! Climb aboard the Sullivan Santa Express for a memorable trip to the North Pole to see Kris Kringle himself. Check in at Central Station located in the greenhouse at Sullivan Hardware & Garden’s 71st & N Keystone Ave store in Indianapolis. While you wait for your reserved departure time, let the kids frolic in the play area. When the train arrives, your family will be seated together in one car. The short train ride is open-air so be sure to bundle up for the ride. Cost is $50 per family during the week and $60 per family on weekends (includes parents and kids). Learn more here and book your ride here!

sullivan-santa-express Holiday Trains in Indiana | The Polar Express
All Aboard the Sullivan Santa Express! Photo Credit: Sullivan Hardware and Garden

Related Article: All Aboard the Sullivan Express

The Indiana Railroad Company – Santa Train

Santa doesn’t just travel by sleigh anymore. At the Indiana Railroad Company, Santa arrives by train! Come aboard, see the train and give dear old Santa your wish list. Santa has brought along some very special guests from the North Pole including Rudolph, Mr. and Mrs. Snowman and Christmas Mouse. The event is FREE to all and everyone is guaranteed to have a jolly good time. December 6-8. View the 2019 Santa Train schedule here.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Station – Santa Train

The Santa Train departs the station at North Judson and travels to English Lake. The train will pick up Santa Claus just outside of town before continuing on its journey. Santa will then personally visit with each child on board the train and give them a gift bag filled with goodies before the train returns to the station. Tickets are $15 for adults 16+, $13 youth ages 6-15, and $9 children ages 1-5. Children under 1 are free. The train runs December 7, 14, and 21 at 10:00am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. Get your tickets here.

Please note: The Hoosier Valley Railroad Station operates on Central Time. All tickets must be picked up in the depot when you arrive. They do not use the e-ticket option for printing tickets at home or on your phone.

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