North Pole Express

Children and trains go together during the Holiday Season like colorful lights, brightly iced cookies, festively wrapped gifts, family and friends. Please join the nonprofit Friends of the 261 annual journey on the North Pole Express.

The North Pole Express is our group’s largest yearly fundraiser enabling us to continue to operate and maintain the star of the show the Milwaukee Road #261 steam locomotive, built in 1944, and experience a ride in one of our of historic rail cars.

Our show is brought to you by our excited ALL volunteer crew, Santa and his elves that promises to make this a memorable Holiday Tradition.

Climb aboard this holiday train from the past that includes the North Pole and a visit from Santa himself! Avoid the trouble of setting up your old train set around the tree this year and let us provide you with a REAL steam train for the holidays.

Coach Class

  • Carhost service and entertainment
  • Visit from Santa
  • Ride to North Pole in vintage railcar
  • Holiday treat

First Class

  • Exclusive seating in vintage lounge railcar
  • Priority boarding
  • Visit from Santa
  • Ride to North Pole
  • Holiday Gift Bag

Coach Class

  • Carhost service and entertainment
  • Visit from Santa
  • Ride to North Pole in vintage railcar
  • Holiday treat

First Class

  • Exclusive seating in vintage lounge railcar
  • Priority boarding
  • Visit from Santa
  • Ride to North Pole
  • Holiday Gift Bag

Your ticket to the North Pole Express includes:

❆ A short train ride to the North Pole at the east end of the Union Depot property.
❆ Along the way, write your letter to Santa.
❆ At the North Pole, Santa will greet the train and board the North Pole Express for the ride back to the Union Depot, passengers will remain on the train.
❆ Santa will walk through the train greeting all the children and collecting your letter!
❆ At the end of the train ride, head into Union Depot, where children can enjoy a holiday treat brought to you by BNSF Railway.
❆ There will be other children’s activities inside the Union Depot as well.
❆ Dress for the weather, all cars will get the same experience.

Upgrade to First Class on North Pole Express:

❆ Priority boarding ❆ Christmas treat on the train ❆ More time with Santa ❆ Keepsake souvenir

First class seating is limited.

Arriving at North Pole Express

Please allow plenty of time to travel, park and walk to the Ticket Check in counter in Union Depot.  There are many one-way and limited-access streets around Union Depot.  Once you arrive at Union Depot plan on walking – the majestic building covers several city blocks!  Take time to explore the art and history inside the building.

Use the map to the right to locate the Union Depot Entrance and parking.

Detailed instructions may be found here

European Christmas Market

European Christmas Market looks a little different this year, but is just as exciting as ever.

Hub for the Holidays

Follow us on:

North Pole Express email list!

BNSF

We are a critical link that connects consumers with the global marketplace. For 170 years, we have played a vital role in building and sustaining this nation’s economy.

Accessible, productive, growing.

THIS IS BNSF.

Hilltop Trailer

Hilltop Camper and RV offers the highest quality RVs on the market today. Since we began operations back in 1951, we have provided superior service to thousands of customers and have succeeded in assisting them in the fulfillment of their dreams. Our experience and commitment to excellence have earned us a reputation as an RV industry leader.

JLL

We’re here to create rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces around the globe where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we are building a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities.

St Paul Union Depot

Revitalized and once again welcoming travelers and visitors of all kinds, Union Depot is what it’s always been—a meeting place, a starting point, a hub of activity, a home to celebrations much anticipated and long remembered.

Crow River Dental

Crow River Dental provides high-quality, affordable dentistry to patients of all ages. Our doctors perform a broad spectrum of dental services, from routine exams to root canals and oral surgeries. Our office, located near the Crow River bridge on Highway 12 in Delano, has a warm, homey atmosphere, creating a sense of comfort and ease. It’s our goal to keep you smiling from the moment you first walk through the door. To us, your smile is our number one priority.

Will the 261 be pulling the train?

Yes, the 261 Will be pulling the North Pole Express December 3-5, 2021

When Does the North Pole Express run?

The North Pole Express runs December 3-5 & 9-12, 2021

Thursdays & Fridays 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Saturdays 10:00 am to 7:30 pm

Sundays 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

How long is the North Pole Express?

The North Pole Express is a 1 and a half hour long experiance with about a 1 hour train ride to the North Pole included in that time.

Boarding and check in times?

Check in will begin 1 hour befor each train time, boarding will begin 15 minutes prior to departure. Like air lines gates close 5 minutes prior to departure.

Do I need a mask?

Currently, a mask recommanded but is not required. If things should change we will notify ticketed passengers via email.

Do I need a ticket for my newborn/infant/child?

Yes, all passengers, young and old need a ticket. this way we are able to make sure we provide enough treats for everyone.

Where do I get my tickets?

All passengers must check in at the ticket counter located in the Concourse directly above the Kellogg Blvd entry

Can I bring a stroller?

Yes, there will be a safe secure place to park you stroller while on the North Pole Express

I lost my confirmation email!?

Send us an email with your Full name, current email, date of your train ride and we will send you another confirmation email. Email us.

Is the North Pole Express ADA accessible?

The North Pole Express does have limited ADA accessibility. Please notify us of the train time you are riding and we will make sure to assist you as best we are able. Contact us.