Your tickets have been purchased for:
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the N.C. Transportation Museum
We are located in Spencer, NC, located between Charlotte & Greensboro, along I-85 (Exit 79).  
Our address is 1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer, NC, 28159. 


PLEASE NOTE: Deluxe Coach, First Class, & Parlor Class cars are not handicap accessible.  Vintage rail equipment is exempt from ADA regulations under US Code:  Title 42:  Section 12184.  Only the “Jingle” car on the Standard Coach train is ADA-accessible and tickets for that car must have been booked by phone.  Passengers arriving with wheelchairs and walkers for cars other than the “Jingle” car will need to leave those items at the boarding location.  Our staff will return them to you at the unloading location.


1. Plan Your Arrival and Departure to Enjoy ALL the Event’s Offerings
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is more than just a train ride.  The event includes activities and entertainment, crafts, and a model train layout in Candy Cane Lane, a visit with Santa Claus for pictures, s’mores by the fire pits, and lighting displays to make your experience even more festive.
Candy Cane Lane is located at the train unloading location and is conveniently visited after the train ride.  Those with later ride times have the option to visit Candy Cane Lane before the ride time if preferred.  Kids can have their photo made with Santa, complete a craft, or the family can enjoy s’mores before you even board the train.

You will not need to be in line for your train ride until 15 minutes prior to your departure time. Please line up according to the name of the car in which you will be riding.  Your tickets will show an abbreviation for the car name, generally the first three or four letters (DON=Donner, for example.) There will be signage to direct you.  We do encourage arrival one hour before your ride time so you will have time to enjoy pre-ride activities.  For those traveling north from the Charlotte area, please pay special attention to #7, our travel advisory, for important information about road construction.

2. Wear Your PJ’s
Get into the spirit!  We encourage the whole family to wear their warmest pajamas. Dress for the weather, though, as the event includes waiting to board, two outdoor performances, and it is a rain or shine event.  Everyone needs to wear shoes with tread on the bottom.  No slippers, stocking feet, or bare feet are permitted due to boarding and walking conditions.

3. Read Along and Be Right On Time With THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Merchandise
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is an interactive event.  On the train ride there will be singing, your tickets will be punched by Mr. Conductor, and the story of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ will be read. Preorder a copy of the book, signed by Santa Claus, to read along with the chefs and have a great keepsake. Other merchandise can also be preordered, including a pocket watch, conductor’s hat, picture frame, and bell-holder ornament. 

Preordered merchandise can be picked up inside the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center adjacent to the parking and boarding area when you arrive.  You can still purchase by
CLICKING HERE (scroll the bottom of the page for ADD-ON OPTIONS).  Please be sure to match your merchandise order with the correct date and ride time.  Our extensive Gift Station will also have lots of event-themed merchandise available on the night of your visit, including THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book.  (Note:  Only preordered books will be signed by Santa Claus.)
PARLOR CLASS PASSENGERS ONLY! – Your ticket includes one THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book, which will be on your table when you board the train.  You do not need to come into the Visitor’s Center to pick up that book unless you ordered additional copies or other merchandise.

4. Book Your Hotel Locally
For those traveling from out of town, booking local lodging can make your experience more relaxed and enjoyable.  PLUS, booking in Rowan County also includes free Standard Coach tickets or gift certificates to our Gift Station. CLICK HERE to learn more.

5. Take Lots of Photos
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a magical event, at a historic site decked out for an amazing Christmas experience.  Take advantage of all the photo opportunities and make lots of memories!  Share your experiences on social media using #nctrans!

6.  Wear Non-Slick Bottom Shoes 
Bedroom slippers can be slippery on our train cars, so for your safety, please do not wear them!  Passengers must wear shoes due to walking conditions on and off the train.

7.  Travel Advisory
Extensive construction on Interstate 85 between Concord and China Grove, NC (Exits 58 and 68) is causing considerable delay for travelers coming from Concord, Charlotte, and other points south of the museum.  Check travel conditions early in the day before you leave to be sure you have plenty of time to make it for your train ride.  Trains cannot be held for late arriving passengers and most trains are sold out without available seating for passengers who miss their train.  No refunds or exchanges can be issued, so please take the extra time to plan accordingly.

8.  Enjoy!
Most of all, come prepared to make lots of family memories and enjoy THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride and all it has to offer!  We hope you’ll want to make it a holiday tradition!

P.S.  Adults should be aware that the Roundhouse area of our museum is the location of our “North Pole” scene during the event.  We advise that anyone arriving earlier in the day to visit the museum exhibits avoid the Roundhouse area so that your children will not see a preview of one of the most memorable scenes during the show.  The museum exhibits and grounds will close at 3PM for normal visitation each day of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.  Activities associated with THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride do not begin until the museum closes at 3 p.m.