The Polar Express™ Event Info


The Polar Express™ returns for another year of magic!             

Click Here to browse dates & times

Please Note: there has been a delay with the POLAR EXPRESS™ golden tickets that has affected the mailing date on orders placed in September. We expect boarding passes and golden tickets to be mailed out in October.

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum presents another season of magic as The Polar Express™ train departs Portland for a journey to the “North Pole.”  The adventure begins at Ocean Gateway where passengers arrive to meet the Conductor and board the train.  Holiday decorations inside the train add to the festive atmosphere as guests on board mingle with the Conductor, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies served in style by our chefs, and listen to a reading of the enchanting story over our sound system.  Santa will greet children aboard the train, while passengers sing along to carols as they journey back to the train station from a special outpost of the North Pole.  Every child receives a special bell as a souvenir of the event.

For Moms, Dads, Grandparents and other Christmas shoppers, there will be Polar Express™ merchandise and other gifts available for purchase at the station. Don’t forget to bring your camera for a photo opportunity with the Conductor inside the train depot. Children and adults are encouraged to wear their pajamas.

Our popular FIRST CLASS seating includes three beautifully restored historic railroad cars.  In these cars, passengers enjoy their hot chocolate in official Polar Express™ mugs (not available for sale), which become theirs to keep.

Be ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to the train’s departure!  The Polar Express leaves right on time.

Click here to watch our trailer on Vimeo!

Groups of 20+ qualify for a discount on their order.  Please contact the box office via groups at to inquire about a group reservation.

Train Ride

The Polar Express™ train departs from the Ocean Gateway Visitor Center, located on Thames Street, which serves as the train depot for this event.  Passengers should arrive at the Ocean Gateway Visitor Center – NOT at the Museum – for their train ride. The train travels east along the Portland waterfront toward the “North Pole.”  Holiday decorations inside the train will add to the festive atmosphere as guests on board meet the conductor, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies served by our chefs, and listen to a reading of the enchanting story over our sound system.  Santa will greet children aboard the train, while passengers sing along to carols as they journey back to the train station from a special outpost of the North Pole.  Every child receives a special bell as a keepsake.  At the station, those who wish to pose for a festive photo with the Conductor may remain with their cameras while others head home with their bell and special memories of a delightful ride.

The train ride lasts approximately 45 minutes (please all at least 60 minutes for entire experience).  Passengers should arrive and be ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to the train’s departure.  The Polar Express™ leaves right on time.

Weather Cancellations

Maine Narrow Gauge’s Polar Express Cancellation Policy:

All ticket sales are non-refundable, unless a train is cancelled.  As a rule, Maine Narrow Gauge will cancel a train only if the City of Portland declares a snow emergency or in the case of equipment failure.  Should that happen, cancellation information will be available on the PortTIX website, on the Maine Narrow Gauge website, and by calling PortTIX at 207-842-0800.  If a train is cancelled, ticket-holders may choose to receive either a refund or a voucher for the following season’s Polar Express train. If there is availability patrons may also choose to exchange into another train in the current season.Please note that handling fees are not returnable in any form.

Any decision to cancel a train will be made by 10:00 AM on the day of the event.

We thank customers for their patience and understanding as the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad navigates the decision to cancel and the process of communicating to all patrons!

Getting There

Directions to 14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland, Maine 04101:

  • From I-295, take EXIT 7 (Franklin Street).
  • On Franklin Street, go to the 7th traffic light and turn LEFT onto Commercial Street.
  • Continue STRAIGHT through the stop sign at India Street (Commercial becomes Thames Street). The Ocean Gateway Visitor Center is the building with the clock tower, located on the right hand side of the street.  This is where you will board the train.
  • There is limited street parking.  Parking will be available in an attended lot directly behind the Ocean Gateway for a $10 fee (except on days when there is a city-wide parking ban due to snow).  Additional parking is at the Ocean Gateway Garage (167 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101 – there is a fee for parking).

14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland, ME 04101 via MapQuest

14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland, ME 04101 via Google Maps


If you’ve purchased tickets to The Polar Express™ and they are being held at “Will-Call,” the following are your pick-up options:

  1. On the day of the event you may pick up your tickets inside Ocean Gateway one hour before your train departs.
  2. If you wish to pick up your tickets in advance, please call the PortTIX box office at 207-842-0800.


The Polar Express™ is the largest annual fundraiser for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum.

Proceeds from the event directly support the museum’s mission to preserve and operate historic two-foot gauge railroad equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public.  Maine’s two-foot gauge railroads were a valuable part of the economic development of the interior of Maine from the 1880’s to the 1930’s.  The museum is open from May – October and seasonally for special events.  Thank you for your support!