Location and Parking
The Connersville Station is located in downtown Connersville, Indiana at 455 Market Street. The station is equidistant from Indianapolis and Cincinnati, so the trip to Connersville from either of those cities will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
There is a parking lot at the station big enough to accommodate everyone riding the train. If the lot is full when you arrive, just wait until the previous train returns, and the parking lot will empty shortly.
Dates and Times
The Polar Express will take off on most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from mid-November to mid-December.
Wheels roll at 5:00pm and 8:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:00pm and 5:00pm on Sundays.
Tickets sell out quickly, so do not wait to purchase yours. Just check their online calendar to purchase tickets for a specific day and time.
A round trip to the North Pole is $36 per person ages 2 and older. You can purchase tickets online or by phone: 765-825-2054.
Once you’ve boarded the full-sized Amtrak train, you will find seats together. The seating is 2-person bench seats, similar to a school bus seat, that face one another so that groups of 4 can sit together easily.
Journey to the North Pole
Once everyone is settled in, you will begin your journey to the North Pole. Along the way, The Polar Express story, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, will be read over the speakers. The volunteer attendants, who are dressed as elves and cooks, will walk up and down the train car showing the book’s pictures to the passengers.
By the way, while riding on the nonprofit Whitewater Valley Railroad, you’ll be travelling on the same canal trail that the train first took in 1867.
As you are riding along, the hot chocolate song will come over the speakers while the elves and cooks pass out the hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies to everyone (included in the ticket price).
The conductor will also make his rounds to punch your tickets just like he does in the story.
The North Pole and Santa
Once you reach the North Pole, all passengers will peer out the windows to see a festive North Pole aglow in Christmas lights. Then, you will all go berserk when you see Santa Claus come out of his workshop and board the train.
At this point, Santa makes his rounds, spending time with each family. All children are given “the first gift of Christmas” (also included in ticket price).
You can take as many pictures as you’d like with your own camera. Once Santa has spoken to everyone, he leaves the train, and you head back to Indiana.
On the trip home, the elves and cooks often sing Christmas songs and make small talk with the children. The round trip takes between 1 and a half to 2 hours.
Note: There are no restrooms on the train, and no one is allowed to get off of the train.
- Wear pajamas.
- There is a restroom in the train station, but it will be packed. There is not a restroom on the train. We recommend stopping at a nearby restaurant or gas station immediately before you arrive so you can use their restroom.
- Hot chocolate and cookies are served during the trip. We recommend you also bring bottled water or sippy cups so you don’t get thirsty.
- Although the train is heated, it can still get very cold inside depending on how cold it is outside. You should bring hats, gloves, and a blanket to keep warm. You are going to the North Pole, right?
- If you are going with a group of friends and family like we usually do, everyone can still sit together even if you purchase your tickets separately. Just call the station after purchasing and let them know how big your party is and who is included. Their number is 765-825-2054. Then, one of you will need to check in at the station as soon as you arrive so that you can receive your train car number.
- If you need assistance boarding the train, make sure you tell the attendants ahead of time. They will help you on. Note that you do have to be able to climb up stairs to board the train.
*The link below to Amazon’s offerings of The Polar Express book, conductor’s hat, and train whistle are affiliate links. If you buy something through those links, you will not pay a penny more for the items. However, we are Amazon Associates, so we earn money from qualifying purchases.
- When you purchase your tickets, you’ll also have the option of purchasing The Polar Express book for $21.39. You can purchase the same book for quite a bit cheaper on Amazon (currently it’s only $14.52). Of course, if you already have the book at home, make sure you bring it with you.
- You can also find a reasonably priced conductor’s hat and train whistle on Amazon if you feel the urge to go all out. For some reason, people always line up outside and wait in the cold. You don’t need to do this. You have your tickets. Just wait inside of the warm station or in your warm car until told to line up outside at the train cars.
Other Holiday WWVR Train Rides
The Whitewater Valley Railroad also has some other holiday experiences for you and your family:
- Metamora Holiday Special Shopping Excursions in November and December
- Santa Claus Limited on the Saturday after Thanksgiving
We have an absolute blast on our Polar Express trips along the Whitewater Valley Railroad! We recommend you take a trip to the North Pole this year. As the conductor in The Polar Express says, “Well, are you coming?”