Fox River Trolley Museum


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

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 20, 26, 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2016, with departures at: 3:15, 4:25, 5:35, and 6:45 p.m. 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.

passengers (i.e. ALL infants, children, adults and 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 prices for the 2016 Polar Express for infants, children, adults and seniors are $29.70 each.

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.

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.

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.

Please note that there are no on-board restrooms. Lavatory facilities are provided in the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve shelter, adjacent to the Blackhawk station.

Ticket Delivery
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. Please note that this address must match the billing address of your credit or debit card.

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.

The museum will begin mailing tickets the week of October 3, 2016.

Important: We ship tickets via U.S. Mail. It is critical that you provide a complete and 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 for your ticket purchase.

Event Duration
The Polar Express event is approximately one hour in duration.

Boarding Location: Jon Duerr Forest Preserve
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.

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.

The Fox River Trolley Museum is located in South Elgin, IL, close to a number of area hotels.

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.

We are not able to hold trains for late arrivals. Trains operate as close to their published departure times as possible.

The Fox River Trolley Museum and Polar Express
The Fox River Trolley Museum operates the Polar Express under license from Warner Brothers and affiliates as a fund raising event, with funds used to maintain the Museum and its collection of antique railcars.

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.

All available trains/ times for 2016 are available for sale as of 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2016 on a first come, first served basis. We have no plans to schedule additional times/ trains for the 2016 Polar Express season. Additionally, because all available tickets are listed for sale June 1, 2016, we do not maintain a waiting list.

Other holiday/ Polar Express Events in the Chicago Area
If you are 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.

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.

Links to Review Available Trains/ Purchase Tickets
Tickets are available for sale at 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2016.

Please click the links below to review available trains. Remember, the reservation system displays available trains/ seats in real-time effective June 1. ALL available trains and seats are displayed.


2016 Polar Express
Please be sure to mark your calendars. Tickets for the 2016 Polar Express at the Fox River Trolley Museum and many other reservation-only events go on sale via the museum’s website June 1, 2016.

© 2016 Fox River Trolley Association
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