Your Guide to the Carson City Polar Express Train Ride

By Dan Bablinskas | Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Have you or your kids ever wanted to experience The Polar Express story in real life on a historic railway? Now you have your opportunity in Carson City, Nevada. Up until December 23, Carson City’s V&T Railway is hosting numerous rides from Carson City to Virginia City to recreate the experience of The Polar Express holiday classic.

Train rides set off from Thursday through Saturday throughout the holiday season, starting at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Guests can choose between four accommodations on board, including a VIP Parlor Car, a VIP Private Room, a Deluxe VIP Private Table and Coach seating. Prices and amenities vary and are explained in detail on the V&T Railway website.

Regardless of your type of ticket, both adults and children will be encouraged to dress in their pajamas to enjoy caroling and a narration of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic, The Polar Express, by the jolly crew members dressed in historic clothing. What’s more, mugs of hot chocolate and a holiday treat will be provided, along with a gift from Santa and his helpers as he makes his way throughout the train cars to spend time talking with everyone.

The historic train will wind slowly up toward the equally historic town of Virginia City through the barren hillsides, which may very well be sprinkled — or covered — with snow this time of year, making for a scenic backdrop to the live storytelling. The conductor will shout all aboard right on time, inclement weather or not, so out-of-towners should make sure to leave plenty of cushion in their schedule, given northern Nevada’s erratic winter weather.

After an hour-and-a-half ride, the train stops in Virginia City before returning back to Carson City, for about a three-and-a-half-hour journey total — so be prepared for a trip on the longer side if you are taking the little ones on this adventure. But it is certainly worth it. You will remember this one for the rest of your lives. Carson City’s Polar Express is one of the best holiday experiences in all of northern Nevada, so make sure to book a ride before the end of the year! Click here to book.

For more fun things to do around Carson City this holiday season, see our Daytime and Nightlife sections.

Photos from V&T Railway Facebook

About the Author Dan Bablinskas
Dan Bablinskas is a relentlessly curious person with a passion for travel, foreign languages, affordable food and lodgings, well-fashioned cappuccinos and refreshing craft brews. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in creative writing, he traveled through Europe and South America while working as an English teacher and travel blogger. After trying a number of different careers, he settled into technical and content writing for his day job. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the Reno-Tahoe area by foot, car, bike and ski. He lives in Reno with his wife and two kids.