THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride -Jamestown
Frequently Asked Questions
When do THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Tickets go on sale?
Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 12, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Tickets can only be purchased online through this website.
What are THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride dates and times?
Saturday & Sunday, November 25-26; Friday - Sunday, December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 departure times are 4:30pm, 6:00pm, and 7:30pm
Can I become a member to participate in Member Advance Ticket Sales?
Yes, we encourage you to join Railtown 1897 State Historic Park or the California State Railroad Museum to learn about upcoming events and exhibits. Members receive advance notification and advance purchase opportunities for events such as THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride as well as other great benefits (click here for more information on membership). However, all new memberships must be purchased, or existing memberships must be renewed and active, by September 5, 2017 in order to participate in 2017 Member Advance Ticket Sales. Current memberships must be active through October 31, 2017. Memberships purchased after September 5, will not be eligible for 2017 Member Advance Ticket Sales. For more information on Member Advance Ticket Sales, click here.
Please note -- membership does NOT guarantee your purchase of tickets. Members have the opportunity to purchase up to 8 individual tickets or 2 tables of four per member household during Member Advance Ticket Sales. Available tickets are limited and are expected to sell out very quickly.
Each ticket includes THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride; admission to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park where you will pick up your tickets, shop, and enjoy entertainment while you wait to board the train; and admission to the Roundhouse where you may meet Santa and take a commemorative photo.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will last approximately one hour. You will enter the Carriage Room and pick up your tickets. You are free to enjoy the entertainers, shop, or take photos. Approximately 45 minutes prior to your departure time, passengers may line up according to the boarding point listed on the ticket. Boarding will begin approximately 20 minutes prior to departure. Children under 2 years of age, do not require a ticket and must be seated on an adult's lap while on board the train. Strollers are not allowed on board the train. They will be deposited in Stroller Parking before boarding and watched over during your ride.
Once on board the train, you will travel to the "North Pole" while we read the story of THE POLAR EXPRESS. Dancing waiters will fly through the cars as each ticketed passenger is served hot chocolate and a treat. As the train passes the North Pole, you will catch a glimpse of Santa and his elves while the train readys for the return trip. As you head back to Railtown, Santa has come aboard and will walk through each car to give out the "first gift of Christmas" -- the silver sleigh bell -- to each passenger. We will all join in and sing Christmas Carols as we pull into the Railtown station. Once you depart the train, walk across the walkway to the Roundhouse where Santa will be available to spend more time and visit with your child and you can take photos.
What can I expect if I am able to get First Class tickets?
First Class tickets are limited in number and usually sell out first. Passengers with First Class Sugar Plum Car tickets will board before the Coach passengers. Passengers will be seated in either the Parlor or Lounge section based upon their ticket purchase. First Class Stewards are assigned to the car and each ticketed passenger will receive hot chocolate served in a commemorative mug.
Where do I pick up my tickets?
All tickets will be held at Will Call inside the Carriage Room. Passengers riding on the 4:30pm train rides may pick up their tickets beginning at 3:30pm. Passengers taking the 6:00pm or 7:30pm departures may pick up their tickets anytime after 4:30pm. It is recommended that passengers pick up tickets approximately 1 hour prior to departure. When you place your order, you will receive a confirmation number. Please note the exact date, time and location of your tickets when you place the order. You must purchase tickets for a particular car, however, exact seating is not assigned, but rather on a first-come, first-served basis. Approximately 1 week before your train ride, you will receive an additional email reminding you of where to park and where to go for your tickets.
Are there refunds or exchanges?
There are no refunds for tickets within two weeks of the train ride. There are no refunds due to weather conditions. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will operate as scheduled, regardless of weather.
Requests for full refunds will be accepted up to 48 hours after your purchase. After 48 hours, requests for refunds or exchanges received up to two weeks prior to the train ride will be charged $10.00 per ticket. Ticket exchanges are based on availability. Any available exchanges will be processed beginning October 15, 2016 and are subject to the $10.00 per ticket cancellation fee (this includes exchanges between cars). Contact THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride -Jamestown Hotline at 209-984-3407 to submit a refund or exchange request.
What if we miss our train?
You will pick up your tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the Carriage Room at Railtown. Departure times for your ride on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are exact. Missed train rides cannot be taken later. We suggest you arrive approximately 1 hour prior to your departure time to pick up your tickets allowing for parking and walking to the Carriage Room. You may begin lining up to board approximately 30-45 minutes prior to departure.
Can we wear pajamas and bring our copy of the book?
Of course that's part of the fun! We encourage the whole family to dress in your warmest pajamas and bring your book for the Conductor and other characters to sign if you wish. Do be sure to dress warmly enough to walk comfortably to and from your car, and make sure that everyone in your party is wearing appropriate footwear. You will be traversing areas with wooden boardwalks and graveled walkways at Railtown. The waiting area is covered but not heated and open to the elements.
Are there restrooms and diaper-changing facilities?
There are no restrooms aboard the train. The ride is one-hour long. Restrooms with changing stations are available in the Railtown Depot.
Where can we park our baby stroller?
Strollers and baby carriers are not allowed aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, due to narrow aisles aboard the train and the need for crews to freely move about during the trip. You may keep your stroller with you while inside the waiting area. Stroller parking will be available just prior to boarding of your train. A convenient location is designated for this purpose, and strollers will be guarded while your train is journeying to the North Pole!
Is there preboarding and access for persons with disabilities?
Will food be available at this event?
Food will not be available at the actual event site -- except for the hot chocolate and small treat aboard the train during the ride. If you wish to come early or stay later after the ride, there are a variety of restaurants throughout Jamestown and we recommend checking www.tcvb.com for suggestions.
What happens if the weather conditions are bad?
Winter wind, rain, light snow, or other adverse conditions are possible. Please check weather conditions prior to your visit, and dress accordingly. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will operate as scheduled, regardless of weather. Although under cover, the boarding area is an open-sided building and not heated.
How do I get to Railtown?
Click Here for driving directions.
Where should I park?
Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the Railtown Depot for a $5.00 parking fee. Additional on-street parking is available in downtown Jamestown. Get a terrific view of Jamestown all dressed up for the Holidays with the Tuolumne County Transit Trolley! The Trolley will take you from downtown Jamestown up to Railtown 1897!
Where can I stay overnight?
There are a number of hotels in close proximity to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Additionally, the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau can recommend a number of hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and attractions in the area. They would be happy to send you a Tuolumne County Visitors Guide upon request, contact them at 800-446-1333 or 209-533-4420 or www.tcvb.com.
Do you sell official Polar Express merchandise?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Jamestown will feature a variety of themed merchandise. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted. An extensive selection of railroad-related merchandise is also available from the Railtown Depot Store, with souvenirs, books, videos, posters and gifts. To order before or after your visit, call (209)984-3953 or visit the Depot Store online.