Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum brings another season of magic with this year’s THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

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THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will be the largest annual event for 2021 at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum (MNGRR). The rolling history museum’s Christmas train has become a holiday tradition drawing over 19,000 passengers in 2019! Maine Narrow Gauge considers this year extraordinary and wanted to ensure that this Maine holiday tradition continues.

The health and safety of volunteers, staff, and guests is the top priority for MNGRR. With over 10,000 passengers carried since June 2020 and safety guidelines in place, MNGRR has proudly earned their Covid-19 prevention badge. Touch-free purchasing and boarding is made possible by new mobile tickets from PortTIX. Golden Tickets will be distributed on the train ride since we will not be mailing physical boarding tickets this year. Masks ARE required on board THE POLAR EXPRESS™. PROOF OF VACCINATION or a NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST are required for all attendees ages 12 and up (children under 12 exempt). Click here to visit our COVID-19 Info Page for full Safety Protocols.

This year’s fun begins at the Maine Narrow Gauge’s Outdoor Boarding Platform. The Conductor boards passengers onto the 10 historic coaches decked out for the holidays Once on board, Christmas music fills the cars as the steam locomotive powered by beloved Steam Engine #3 thunders to the “North Pole” Children will see Santa waving to all aboard the train as he prepares his sleigh for departure.  Get a second look at the holiday lights outside the train as you travel back to the station. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served after the train ride this year.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is staffed entirely by volunteers and is the largest annual fundraiser for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum – thank you for your support! Your ticket purchase contributes to the continuity of the community.

First Class details: in these beautifully restored historic railroad cars, passengers will receive a POLAR EXPRESS™ Souvenir mug with their hot chocolate. These tickets also include a reserved area for your party. 

Are you interested in volunteering? Please contact the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad if you are interested in helping out for THE POLAR EXPRESS™.

Be ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to the train’s departure! THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride leaves right on time.

Entire train cars may be purchased for your party. Please contact the box office via help at or 207-842-0800 to inquire about purchasing a full car.

Thank you to our Sponsors:


Train Ride

About the event:

Passengers arrive bundled up and ready to board at the Maine Narrow Gauge’s Boarding Platform at 49 Thames Street, which will serve as our train departure platform for the event. There they board the train and ride about a mile and a half along Casco Bay on the Eastern Promenade to the “North Pole.” Families will enjoy the sights and sounds of the season as the train makes its way along the shoreline. Holiday decorations inside the train add to the festive atmosphere as guests on board meet the Conductor and listen to classic carols. Santa will be seen from the train from his station at the “North Pole” while he prepares his sleigh for Christmas Eve. For parents, grandparents, and other Christmas shoppers, there is train-themed merchandise available for purchase in the gift shop along with other holiday gifts. Families can also take photos of the steam locomotive and crew at the train platform. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas.  

The train ride lasts approximately 45 minutes (please allow 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. Make sure to leave ample time for parking and boarding – THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride leaves right on time!

Weather Cancellations

Maine Narrow Gauge’s THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride 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 Holiday 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 49 Thames Street, 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 MNGRR Boarding Platform is at 49 Thames Street, on the right hand side of the street across from the WEX building.  This is where you will board the train.
  • The Ocean Gateway Parking Garage (167 Fore Street) is just a short walk away. Metered parking is available on the surrounding streets and parking lots.

Ticket Delivery

All tickets this year are being sent as Mobile Tickets to the email address used to purchase. Your Mobile Tickets will arrive separately from your email confirmation, within 1-2 hours of purchase. Please be prepared to show your Mobile Tickets on a mobile device when you arrive at the train. Golden Tickets will be distributed on board the train this year.


THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride 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!