During the winter season it is not uncommon for people to ponder on the notion of Santa Claus and young rail fans are no exception. Perhaps that is why the fine folks in Ely, Nevada decided to help answer the question “Is there a Santa Claus” in their own way.
The answer is “Yes” rail fans, there is a Santa Claus and he can be seen every weekend aboard the annual “Nevada Northern Railway Polar Express.”
What follows is a brief description of what would-be “Nevada Northern Railroad Polar Express” riders can expect and how to purchase tickets.
Northern Railway Polar Express Train Ride
In their planning, the organizers of the “Nevada Northern Railway Polar Express” have tried to remain true to the train’s namesake, “The Polar Express” children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg.
In the book the central characters receive a silver bell that once adorned Santa’s reindeer. When it comes to the silver bell, only those that believe in Santa and have true Christmas spirit can hear the bell peal.
As such, all those that ride the “Northern Railway Polar Express” get to meet with Santa and are given a silver bell.
In addition to the silver bell, guests are served hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, an hour long train ride and a big helping of Christmas spirit through the reading of “The Polar Express” and the singing of Christmas carols.
Hours of Operation and Ticket Information
The annual “Nevada Northern Railway Polar Express” is in operation from the first Friday after Thanksgiving to December 29th.
Hours vary with more opportunities to ride the train occurring from December 20th, 2010 until December 29th, 2010.
Prior to those dates the “Polar Express” makes its run on weekends only with trains departing at 7:30 pm on Fridays, 1:00 pm on Sundays and three different times on Saturdays.
Saturday trains run at 1:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:30 pm. All “Polar Express” trains depart from the East Ely Railroad Depot located on 1100 Avenue A in East Ely.
As of 2010 tickets to ride the “Polar Express” are $28 per adult and $16 per child between the ages of 4 through 12. Children ages 3 and under are admitted onto the train for free.
Ticket prices are inclusive of the hour long train ride, hot chocolate, cookies, story time, a visit with Santa and a souvenir silver bell.
Tickets can be purchased either online or by calling the “Nevada Northern Railway” staff at 1-866-407-8326.
Nevada Northern Railway Museum
Post Office Box 150040
East Ely, NV 89315
Those would be “Polar Express” riders that would like to learn more about winter holiday happenings in Ely, Nevada should log onto the state’s tourism website.