The Polar Express Holiday Train in Chicago – thru Jan 1, 2024

Now through January 1, 2024, there is still time to experience the magic of the Polar Express!  Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers enjoy the classic story as they are whisked away for a magical one-hour trip from Chicago’s Union Station, to meet Santa. Once on board, your car hosts work their way through the coach and punch your golden ticket before hot chocolate and delicious Walker’s Shortbread are served by dancing chefs. 


Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers board the train to greet passengers, and each guest is given a silver sleigh bell, as in the film.  During the trip, characters on each car lead passengers in caroling and onboard entertainment.  Each guest will take home their bell, along with incredible memories of this magical trip!


The Story

On the night of Christmas Eve, the Polar Express passenger train stops on the street outside the house of a boy who is skeptical about the existence of Santa Claus. The conductor says the train is traveling to the North Pole. Although reluctant at first, the boy boards the train and meets a spirited girl and know-it-all boy.


The train then stops to pick up a boy named Billy, who also initially refuses to board, but changes his mind as the train moves away.  The boy applies the emergency brake and Billy is allowed on board, but decides to sit alone in the observation car.  The children are then served hot chocolate by a platoon of dancing waiters, and the girl saves a cup for Billy.

The conductor and the girl go to give Billy his cup, and the boy notices that the girl’s ticket has not yet been validated and tries to return it to her.  The wind then blows away the golden ticket out into the wilderness, but makes its way back to the train. 

The movie is filled with adventures and excitement as the children go on their journey. The train finally arrives at the North Pole, where they find themselves directly in Santa’s workshop, an elf command center and a gift-sorting office facility, where Billy finds a present in his name. A sack is loaded onto Santa’s sleigh, and the elves escort them out before Santa and his reindeer arrive. 

A bell from the reindeer’s reins flies loose. The boy initially cannot hear it ring, until he finds it within himself to believe. He returns the bell to Santa, who selects him to receive the first gift of Christmas – Santa agrees to let him keep the bell.

After the boy later learns that he lost the bell through a hole in his pocket, he arrives home with the conductor wishing him a Merry Christmas. The boy wakes up on Christmas morning to find a present containing his lost bell with a note from Santa. He and his younger sister Sarah joyfully ring the bell.

Although the bell’s ring faded over the years as his belief faded, as an adult, the bell still rang for him as it does “for all who truly believe”.

2023’s Chicago Train Ride

Leaving from Chicago’s Union Station, the prices are as follows:

Value Departures:  $55 Adult, $47 Child (2-11)

Standard Departures: $67 Adult, $59 Child (2-11)

Premium Departures: $80 Adult, $72 Child (2-11)

Click HERE for all you need to know about the experience, including ticket info.



Fellowship Fleet Limousine and Bus Company can be part of your magical experience to Union Station.  Book a reservation for transportation, HERE

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