Last year we introduced Olly to the film, The Polar Express and it was one of the first films he watched the whole way through. He was completely mesmerised by it so when I saw that Telford Steam Railway were doing a Polar Express Christmas event, I knew we had to get some tickets to go.
Our golden tickets arrived a couple of weeks before the event and Olly was so excited when I gave them him. He’s such a big train fan, the chance to ride on the Steam Train that mimics the Polar Express was such an exciting prospect.
The day arrived and after a slightly traumatic morning at pre-school (don’t mention the nativity!) both Olly and I couldn’t wait for our afternoon at the Steam Railway. We packed our coats and hats and put our festive jumpers on and we were ready for our afternoon out.
Good to know – There’s free car parking at the Jiggers Bank Park and Ride with a coach service that takes you and the family to the Steam Railway. They run every ten minutes throughout the duration of the event days to and from the Railway.
Although the guidance recommended for us to arrive at the Park and Ride an hour to 45 minutes before our allocated train ride, we were left in the cold a for half an hour outside the Railway. The coach ride only takes five minutes to the station so be prepared to wrap up warm as there’s a lot of waiting around whilst you listen to Christmas music over the tannoy. There’s a small covered marquee for guests to wait in but it did get busy.
At 3:45pm the Christmas music ended and an announcement came over the annoy, it was time to make our way to the platform to wait for the Polar Express. Our tickets were checked and we made our way to the ‘Dasher’ sign on the platform which is the carriage we were in for the ride.
The familiar story from the Polar Express began and then we heard the train whistle out. It was on it’s way to the station. Olly’s face lit up and all the children (and adults) on the platform were pretty excited. The train roared into the station and we waited for instructions to get onto the train.
On board the train, we found our seats and our adventure began. The story of the Polar Express plays out in front of you. There’s the train conductor (complete with dodgy tache!) and the Chef’s who were absolutely brilliant. Dancing and entertaining the crowd on the train, they were really engaging and full of fun. All the children and adults sitting around us were enthralled and it was such a lovely thing to watch. Olly even had his golden train ticket checked and an ‘O’ (for Olly) cut out into the ticket by the conductor.
We were given a cookie each and then a hot chocolate which was lovely and then the train pulled into the North Pole where Father Christmas was waiting with his Reindeer. To our delight, Father Christmas came aboard the train and wanted to speak to all the children.
I know I said I was pretty sure we met the real Father Christmas at LaplandUK but we were blown away by the Father Christmas on our train. He was the loveliest man with a real white beard and long white hair dressed in a red suit, I’m pretty certain he was the real deal.
He spent some time talking to each family and children. He gave Olly the first gift of Christmas, a silver sleigh bell and of course, because we all believe it rang.
The rest of the train journey was spent singing Christmas songs, enjoying the cookie and hot chocolate and everyone had a really lovely time. We arrived back in Spring Village Station and it was time to get off the train.
At Spring Village Station there was some free activities for the children to do including writing letters to Santa, wooden trains to play with, painting tree decorations and lots of Polar Express pictures to colour in. There’s also a gift shop with a range of Polar Express related memorabilia available to buy (there’s a card machine for purchases).
We had a really lovely afternoon out. The attention to detail throughout was great, the staff were fantastic and it really did feel festive. We will definitely look out for tickets next year.
The event has now sold out for this year but tickets for next years event are due for release in the Spring. You can expect to pay £35 each (for both adults and children) for Premium tickets and £22 for Standard tickets. We purchased Standard tickets which included our train ride, a cookie and hot chocolate each and a silver sleigh bell for Olly.
You can find out more about the Polar Express experience from Telford Steam Railway here.