Fox River Trolley Museum

The Polar ExpressTM

Departure Location: Jon Duerr Forest Preserve,
35W003 Route 31, South Elgin, IL

Tickets for the 2013 Polar Express are sold-out. Tickets for the 2014 Polar Express will go on-sale June 1, 2014.

Other holiday/ Polar Express Events in the Chicago Area

If you were not able to find times or trains convenient to your schedule, please think about visiting Santa in Chicago, a site listing many Chicago-area holiday/ Polar Express events.

Additionally, the Fox River Trolley Museum operates Polar Express trains for the Batavia and Winfield park districts. Each district sets their own policies regarding sales and prices, but the experience is identical to the trains that the museum operates on its own behalf.

Event Overview

Chris Van Allsburg's book The Polar Express comes to life when the train pulls out of the station with your family on board on November 30, December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2013. The train will transport you to the “North Pole” where Santa will be waiting. Experience the joy of watching the children's faces when the train arrives at the North Pole.

At the North Pole, Santa will board the train, greet each child and hand them their own small gift. There will be caroling, sing-alongs with professional musicians, cookies and hot chocolate making this what will surely become an annual holiday tradition for the whole family.


ALL passengers (i.e. infants to adults to seniors), regardless of age or size are required to purchase and display a valid ticket. Seating is provided for two adults or the equivalent per seat. Persons of size requiring additional space must purchase additional tickets as required at the time of initial ticket purchase.

Tickets for Polar Express trains purchased at least two weeks prior to the date of the event will be mailed to the address provided at the time of purchase.

The museum will begin mailing tickets August 5, 2013.

Important: We ship tickets via U.S. Mail. It is critical that you provide an accurate mailing address. For security reasons, this must be the address on-file for your credit or debit card.

Additionally, please be sure to provide a valid e-mail address when ordering to insure that you receive your e-mail confirmation.

Tickets purchased less than two weeks before the event may be picked up just prior to boarding at Blackhawk Station in the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve.

Seating Arrangements

By virtue of the historic equipment utilized, no specific seats can be reserved, and community seating is practiced. Although the museum makes reasonable attempts to accommodate groups of 8 or more when tickets are purchased under ONE name, and ONE transaction for the same train, NO specific seating arrangements or contiguous seating for ANY group or individual can be guaranteed.

Additionally, please note that there is no on-board storage for strollers, wheelchairs or other large items.


Trains are heated and pajamas are encouraged. Please be sure to dress for inclement weather so that you are comfortable with the brief walk from the parking lot to the train and waiting to board the train.

Event Duration

The Polar Express event is approximately one hour in duration.

Boarding Location: Jon Duerr Forest Preserve

ALL Polar Express trains board at the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve, NOT the museum.

The Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve, 35W003 Route 31, South Elgin, IL is located approximately 2 miles south of the Fox River Trolley Museum on the east side of IL Route 31.

Handicapped Accessibility

Unfortunately, due to the historic nature of the equipment, the Polar Express is NOT handicapped accessible. A ramp is provided at the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve for those that are ambulatory.

Area Restaurants

The Fox River Trolley Museum is located in South Elgin, IL, in close proximity to restaurants catering to almost every taste and budget.

Inclement Weather, Refunds and Cancellations

All ticket sales are non-refundable unless a train is canceled. Generally, trains are canceled only in the case of extreme inclement weather as defined by the museum, and/or equipment failure.

Patrons should plan on arriving at least 20 minutes before their scheduled departure time for Polar Express trains. Please factor the possibility of inclement weather into your travel plans.

The Fox River Trolley Museum and Polar Express

The Fox River Trolley Museum operates the Polar Express as a fund raising event, with funds used to maintain the Museum and its collection of antique railcars. The Fox River Trolley Museum is a registered 501c3 not-for-profit corporation.

Ticketing System/ Reservations

Our Internet-based reservation system reflects all of the trains and seats available in real-time. If the system indicates “0” seats available for a train, no additional seats for that train are available. Other values are as indicated, (i.e. 20 seats remaining for a train reflects 20 seats available for that specific train). We happily accept Discover, MasterCard, and Visa for ticket purchases. Please note, we do not accept American Express.

2014 Polar Express

Please be sure to mark your calendars. Tickets for the 2014 Polar Express at the Fox River Trolley Museum and many other reservation-only events go on sale via the website June 1, 2014.

Polar Express Questions

If you have additional questions regarding the Polar Express at the Fox River Trolley Museum, please contact us at:, or call 312-473-0993.

© 2013 Fox River Trolley Association
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