Frequently Asked Questions
What is the North Pole Express ?
A Holiday and Christmas rail travel experience for families, children and all train lovers. The Railway Museum of BC is proud to present this special passenger train adventure, that includes some of our historic operational equipment, representing trains that were used in the building of BC and Canada.
Come along on this exciting and immersive adventure to meet Santa Claus at the North Pole. Your journey begins at the Candyland Station where Hot Chocolate flows like a river and you are sure to bump into a few unique characters!
Your 50 minute (approximate), 11km train ride will be filled with cookies, candy canes & festive songs. It will eventually make it to the North Pole after making a pit stop to pick up some of Santa’s friends.
Once at the North Pole, kids of all ages will enjoy meeting many of Santa’s elves and friends not to mention meeting Santa and Mrs Claus themselves . Make sure to take the time to enjoy all of Santa ‘s favourite activities, especially his miniature train ride through his expansive and magical workshop.
(The ‘North Pole’ and Santa are located on the Museum grounds, inside the CN Roundhouse.)
How do I purchase tickets to the North Pole express?
Tickets in three price categories are available at
How Much does it cost for a ticket?
- $35 Coach
- $49 First Class
- $59 Special Night Time departure on Saturday nights.
Tickets in three price categories are available at
What do I get with a coach ticket?
Coach class Platinum Ticket ticket includes:
The 50 minute ride on the North Pole Express, with entertainment on board, chocolate chip cookie, candy cane and Christmas music and Carol Singing. Access to the North Pole; a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus; One mini rail ride; Santa’s Workshop, Beanery Café, Christmas merchandise in our gift shop, Christmas music, and a commemorative bell.
Why is a First Class ticket so much more money?
First class receives all that coach receives plus:
- Assigned seating in First Class
- First to board and first to disembark the North Pole Express
- A special collector’s mug (value approximately $14.00)
How much is the special ride in the VIP coach ‘Alberta’?
The Cost is $1500 per departure. Please call 1-604-898-9336 for all the details.
The Alberta seats a group of 15 family members and/or friends and features pre-boarding before the rest of the train is announced. Complementary food and beverages will be served by your own host or hostess. When arriving at the North Pole, you will have access to ride the Mini Rail Train and see Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Do I need to buy a ticket for my infant child?
Infants less than 24 months may ride on a parents lap at no additional cost. You MUST call us 604-898-9336 (Leave a message for Chrissy or Zoe with full details) to have the infant under two added to your reservation. They do not get a ticket. We just need to have your child accounted for in our numbers on the train.
What is the refund and cancellation Policy ?
Because of the challenges presented by Covid-19 with respect to health safety, and the difficulty of managing resale of tickets, all sales are final. Unfortunately we cannot offer refunds if you are unable to ride your train as scheduled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Do I need Covid-19 Vaccinations to ride the North Pole Express?
YES. For persons 12+ years of age, your Vaccine Passport and Proof of Identification are required for this event.
For full information on Proof of Vaccination and how to get your BC Vaccine Card, visit the BC Government page here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof
Where do I park my car?
Parking will be in the lot to your LEFT, across the street from the Museum grounds, just after your cross the CN tracks as you approach the Museum. Staff will be onsite to assist and direct you to park your vehicle.
Parking is $5 (as we rent the lot from BC Rail Properties) and is payable to the attendant when parking your vehicle.
How far of a walk is it from the parking lot to the North Pole Express?
It is about 250 metres from the parking area to the front gate of the Heritage Park. It is another 200 metres from the front gate to the (Mac Norris) Squamish Station house where you will pick up your tickets and Board the North Pole Express.
You may encounter snow and ice on the ground during your travels. Please wear appropriate footwear as the weather may be unfavourable.
What time should I arrive to catch my train?
Patrons should arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to departure time. You MUST be Checked In at least 10 minutes prior to departure! We cannot assure seating on the next train if you miss yours.
How much time should I plan for to enjoy the North Pole express?
We recommend a minimum of 3 – 4 hours. Arrive 45 mins before your train departs, the train ride is an hour, and then at least an hour at the North Pole to meet Santa, ride the Mini-Rail Train, and enjoy the activities and entertainment at the North Pole.
Can we bring our own food ?
YES. We will have concession food & snacks – including popcorn and hotdogs, and a variety of drinks available.
Can I visit the North Pole before my departure on the North Pole Express?
Sorry NO, as the train ride will bring you to the North Pole
Will the train be decorated on the inside?
YES! There will be decorations in the coaches together with plenty of laughter, music and magic.
Can I wear my PJ’s?
YES! Absolutely, we encourage it. PJs are welcomed and encouraged.
Are there washrooms onboard the North Pole Express?
YES. There will be at least one emergency washroom available on board for all 300 passengers. We therefore we encourage all guests to use the washroom prior to boarding the North Pole Express. Washrooms in close proximity to the train will be available before and after your train ride.
Am I guaranteed a seat together with my family?
Though our conductors do our their very best to have room for everyone to sit together, If you have purchased a coach ticket, there is no assigned seating and seats are filled on a first come first serve basis. If sitting with your family is important to you, may I suggest purchasing a First Class ticket that comes with assigned seating to ensure you and your family get seats together.
Can we see Santa and Mrs Claus?
YES! Santa and Mrs Claus will be at the North Pole and available to meet you after every train arrives. There will be an area to line up and meet them. As well, we encourage families to bring their own cameras to capture the special moment, as no professional photographers will be on site this year taking portrait photos.
How many trips on the Mini Rail Train does my ticket get me?
Both Coach and First class tickets on the North Pole Express include one (1) ride on the special Mini Rail train, located inside the North Pole.
Is the First Class mug different from 2019?
YES. This year’s mug is different from any previous year’s event held in Squamish.
Can I buy the First Class mug if I ride in Coach?
Please check with the Gift Shop upon your arrival. Currently there are no additional First Class mugs available for sale. There may be some closer to the actual event.