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Adirondack Railroad Polar Express Ready to Roll in 2023

child on santa's lap

Utica, NY – The Adirondack Railroad brings to life one of the most beloved Christmas stories “The Polar Express” from November 17th through December 18, 2023. Families will put on their pajamas — yes, parents, too — and go to Utica’s Union Station to board “The Polar Express” for a magical and entertaining ride to the North Pole. Be certain to bring your camera to capture life-long memories. The Polar Express is staffed by a mix of staff from the Adirondack Railroad and volunteers.

The experience begins in the station where passengers are greeted by a mix of staff and volunteers from the Adirondack Railroad dressed in costume. As the train starts its theatrical trek through the Glacier Gulch and onto The North Pole, the conductor goes by and punches all the tickets, followed by an interactive show of dancing and singing hot chocolate chefs. There is a dramatic retelling of Van Allsburg’s tale, and holiday music is played, adding to the excitement and anticipation of seeing old St. Nick as the train gets closer to the North Pole.

The train does a slow roll through the North Pole village, so everyone can view the lights and the bell tower, a key landmark in the story. At the North Pole destination, Santa boards the train and remains for the return trip to Utica, visiting with the youngsters and giving them each their first gift of Christmas; a silver bell.

Many families have made The Polar Express a tradition, and the Railroad encourages passengers to make reservations early to avoid disappointment, as the event sells out every year. Tickets and more information are available at the Railroad website: or by calling a customer service representative at 1-800-819-2291.

Railway Preservation Society, Inc. (ARPS) operates the Adirondack Railroad, the Adirondack Scenic Railbike Adventure, and Peachtree Railbikes.

The New York corporation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer-based organization with main offices in Utica, New York. Since 1992 it has provided a memorable experience for more than 1.8 million passengers, operating on the former New York Central Adirondack Division located in upstate New York.