The North Pole Express returns with some new traditions

Fri, 11/19/2021 - 12:00pm

Story Location:
586 Wiscasset Road
Boothbay, ME 04537
United States

    After a long two years, Santa will once again greet happy children of all ages aboard the North Pole Express. Beginning on Dec. 4, the Christmas train will leave Freeport Station at the Boothbay Railway Village Museum, 586 Wiscasset Road, and head to the ‘North Pole’ every weekend before Christmas. Festivities and grounds open from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    Trains depart run eight times each day every 45 minutes. Morning trains: 10:45 and 11:30; afternoon trains: 12:15, 1, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15 and 4 o’clock, Saturday and Sunday Dec. 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19.

    The magical adventure begins inside the historic 1912 Freeport Station, where children can write their letter to Santa near a cozy wood stove.Train conductors will call “All aboard” and ticket holders will board the train to the North Pole and settle into a comfortable seat in the classic passenger car or “Little Red Caboose” No. 551, built in 1904. Riders will pass through a picturesque forest and historic village to the ‘North Pole’, where a very special guest in a red suit with a jolly belly will jump aboard to greet them!  Every child will receive a special keepsake to help spark the magic leap to the North Pole.

    After meeting the “big guy” in person, the train will head back to the station where multiple festivities await: visit the Spruce Point Chapel for a storybook reading,   Cozy up at one of the bonfires on the Village Green with your very own S’mores kit; Experience the vintage holiday display inside the Harrington House Barn decked out 1940s style;  stroll over to the 1847 Boothbay Town Hall for hot chocolate and homemade treats provided by Boothbay Region High School students’ Project Graduation committee; take in the Ice Harvesting Exhibit and visit the museum’s holiday headquarters; go on an elf hunt and win a prize if you find them all!

    Explore the exhibits on the Museum’s lower campus (open weather permitting) and shop at the Iron Horse Antiques an General Store Holiday Market.

    This year’s North Pole Express ticket includes a brand new limited time exhibit on historic ice harvesting in the museum Town Hall. Ice harvesting was a winter staple in the region from the mid-1800s to the 1940s. Local companies not only supplied ice to Maine families and businesses but also shipped ice to southern states and even as far as South America! The collaborative exhibit feature objects used in the ice harvesting industry from the collections of the Railway Village Museum and the Boothbay Region Historical Society. Artifacts on display include objects big and small from shoe accessories called “creepers” to massive horse drawn ice saws.  

    Standard tickets are $21 for attendees three years and older. Museum members receive a $4 discount per ticket. Children under 3 years of age do not require a ticket; however, they must sit on an adult lap.  Tickets sell out early and advance purchase is required. Tickets are available online ONLY at

    Please note: Masks are required on train and inside buildings.  Car seats and strollers are not permitted on trains for safety reasons.  Please leave the four-legged family members home for this event.  Boothbay Railway Village reserves the right to run either steam or diesel at this event. 

    Attending and volunteering for this event greatly supports the Boothbay Railway Village Museum.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact  or sign up on the North Pole Express event page at

    We wish to thank attendees, donors, volunteers and staff for your support and generosity, and wish you all a very happy holiday season.