The Polar Express on the Durango Train

The Polar Express train. Photo by Yvonne Lashmett.

The Conductor. The Hobo. The elves. And, yes, Santa himself. They’re all aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad‘s Polar Express train, and you should be, too!

Based of the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg — and made into a classic Christmas movie in 2003 — the themed trip is the Durango train’s premier special event of the year. It’s a favorite with kids and just as magical for grownups, so it sells out quickly, especially on certain cars and on certain days (like Christmas Eve).

The Polar Express train will make its debut trip this holiday season on Nov. 19 and will run through Jan. 3.

During the ride, passengers of all ages will enjoy hot chocolate and a treat served by personal chefs as well as a reading of The Polar Express story as the train makes its way to the North Pole (cough, Cascade Canyon wye, cough) to pick up Santa. On the way back to Durango, Santa will stop in each car to visit with the kids, and each kid will receive a special gift from Santa. Passengers can also sing along to Christmas carols!


This year, the Durango train is featuring something new and something super special: official Polar Express pajamas. When you book your tickets for The Polar Express, you can opt to get a pair of button-front, two-piece pajamas, available in both children’s and adult sizes. Durango train staff will ship out PJ packages weekly so you can be sure to wear yours during the ride.

Your Polar Express pajamas will come in handy somewhere else, too: at the Durango Quality Inn! We’re just 2 miles north of the downtown Durango depot, and we make for a snug wintertime sleepover after the trip to the North Pole. If you’re looking for Durango hotels, look no further; book your room at the Quality Inn Durango today and pack your PJs!

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