Our North Pole Flyer is currently sold out for 2017! We will share updates and cancellations on our Facebook page.
Our special 2 hour excursion on a real train features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa and a locally baked holiday cookie. Each car is decorated for the season where passengers enjoy a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book-our railroad’s own Christmas Story! Our professional Santa will spend time in each car to “check your list twice”, and pose for photographs before handing out a gift to each child to remember this special ride!
All cars on this ride are pulled by a diesel locomotive. Parties may be seated at shared tables, or in shared seating sections with other passengers. Private compartments are available for purchase, but riders in compartments will need to step out into the general lounge area to enjoy many activities. This ride is 2 hours round trip with no layover.
On each date, the train departs at 8:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM. We encourage you to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to your departure time to get parked, boarded, and seated. If you miss your departure, we may not be able to reschedule you on this sold out ride.
This popular holiday tradition goes on sale in January each year, and is mostly sold out by November. Large groups are encouraged to purchase no later than October.
Want to read a first-hand rider experience? Check out the December 2017 issue of Texas Highways here.
Still have questions? Jump to the North Pole Flyer FAQ Below.
Looking forward? Our 2018 North Pole Flyer tickets will go on sale soon!
North Pole Flyer FAQs
Each year we look forward to the return of the North Pole Flyer train ride! We hope these FAQs will help you as you plan to join us in 2017!
- The Locomotive
We are currently under the power of the beautiful #3134! This stunning blue diesel engine made its ASTA debut in 2017, and is featured on the cover of our new North Pole Flyer book!
- The Story
While under way a Story Teller Elf will come to your car to read the story of the North Pole Flyer. This gives all of our passengers a chance to sit with their family and friends and listen or read along together. Copies of the new 2017 book are available for $8. These may be purchased when you purchase your tickets or at the ticket office when you pick up your tickets. During some departures books may be available to purchase on board the train. Due to the flurry of activity on board the train, passengers will need to remain in their car. Walking to other cars will not be an option on this sold out ride!
- The Ride
The North Pole Flyer departs from Cedar Park and travels to Bertram. The train does not de-board in Bertram. We will stop long enough for our crew to uncouple the locomotive, run it around the train on the scale track, then couple up to take us back to Cedar Park. The ride is approximately 2 hours round trip.
- The Activities
Santa Claus is on board every North Pole Flyer. He walks through each car, greeting passengers young and old! Every child has an opportunity to visit with Santa, and receive a special gift from Santa. Mrs. Claus walks through each car serving Christmas cookies to all passengers. We also have complimentary hot chocolate available to all passengers. We have coloring sheets and crayons on board in all the cars. We encourage pajama wearing on this train ride! Please note that passengers sitting in private compartments will need to step out into the lounge area to participate in some group activities including visiting Santa, the book reading, caroling, and other games.
Tickets go on sale a year in advance. They are available online, over the phone, and in our ticket office. We are usually SOLD OUT by late October! After that point, tickets may become available due to cancellations. You may receive a full refund (less internet ticketing fee) if reservations are canceled by the Monday prior to departure. After that point there are no refunds, but you may call during regular business hours prior to your train departure date/time to reschedule for another date. All passengers ages 3 and up need a ticket to ride the train. Adult and Child tickets are the same price, with the exception of adults who will be bringing a lap rider with them. Those tickets are $5 more. While the lap rider doesn’t get their own seat, they do get the hot chocolate, Christmas cookie, and gift from Santa!
- The Cars
There are 2 classes of service available – Coach (New Braunfels, Buckeye Trail, Buckeye Lake and Silver Pine), and Lounge (Maurice Beckham, Rippling Stream, Nambe.) Each car is climate controlled and has its own bathroom. Coach cars have coach-style seating like a bus or an airplane. Lounge cars are more like restaurants and may have tables and chairs, tables and booth seating, or lounge chairs with a tray table. With our vintage equipment, some restrooms may be unavailable during certain stretches of the trip. Please ask your car attendant if you need restroom assistance. Due to the flurry of activity on board the train, passengers will need to remain in their car. Walking to other cars will not be an option on this sold out ride!
- Private Compartments
We offer private compartment seating for the North Pole Flyer. These unique spaces were previously used as sleeper stalls or even barber shops, and have now been reconfigured for your comfort! These compartments range in size, and feature windows on one side of the room. The other side of the room has doors that open and close for privacy. This allows you to customize your North Pole Flyer experience for more or less sound, light and excitement! Mrs. Claus will come to your compartment to hand out cookies, and your car attendant will bring in hot chocolate. When Santa and the Story Teller Elf come to visit the car, you will need to step out of your compartment and join us in the lounge area if you would like to participate in these activities. We particularly recommend these spaces for family gift exchanges, groups wanting to control sound, or families enjoying the train with special needs kiddos! Private compartments are the same price as the lounge cars. Each car is configured in different ways and MAY contain a table and chairs, or individual lounge chairs and a tray table, or a booth with a table. Due to the flurry of activity on board the train, passengers will need to remain in their car. Walking to other cars will not be an option on this sold out ride!
- What We Do Not Offer
While we can provide a step back in time train ride, we can’t give you nonstop “entertainment.” Nor do we want to! We want there to be times during the ride when you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy conversation with your family and friends! You are welcome to bring playing cards, books, or games on board with you. We have some for sale in the concession area before you board. And yes, even electronic devices are welcome, although we ask that you use earphones with those. We also can’t offer you a “trail of lights” exhibit along the way. Much of our route is rural, so it is up to each individual property owner as to what displays they put up.
- Thank You
When you ride with us, you are helping us maintain a fleet of lovingly restored passenger cars, along with our 1916 SP 786 steam locomotive. Many of these cars would have been turned into scrap if not for our efforts and your support. We want to keep vintage railroading alive in central Texas for many years to come, and every ticket purchase helps us achieve that goal.