Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


at the Colorado Railroad Museum

— 2020 —


  • Ticketing Questions
  • The Experience Itself
  • Day-Of Arrival and Timing


 What are the exact dates of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride for 2020?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum operates on November 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29. It continues December 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23. Performances each evening begin at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m.

 Is THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride going to be canceled?
COVID-19 caseloads and concerns are on the rise. However, we want to assure you that the show is still on – we’ve been working closely with our local health officials to ensure THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride continues to adhere to current requirements and guidance related to COVID-19. If anything changes on that front, we’ll email all ticketed guests right away.

 When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum go on sale to the General Public beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 1. Museum members will have early access to purchase tickets, beginning one week prior (September 24) and continuing through September 30. A special Early Access code is required for members during this time.

 Where can I purchase tickets?
Tickets are available online by visiting, or call eTix at (720) 358-0615.

 I am a Museum Member, how will I receive my “Early Access” code?
Colorado Railroad Museum Members receive the first opportunity to order THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets each year! This year, the member pre-sale dates are September 24-30. All Members who have ACTIVE membership accounts will receive a special membership access code at the current email address we have on file before sales open. If you’re a member and don’t receive this code before September 24, please call us at (303) 279-4591 during business hours, or email us at so we can update your email address and provide your code!

 How do I become a Museum Member?
The Colorado Railroad Museum offers a wide range of annual Membership options for individuals and families. Year-round benefits are included, such as free Museum Admission and Train Rides on weekends (except during Special Events). Benefits, costs and Membership levels are listed online here. Don’t wait, join or renew your membership online today!

Is access available for wheelchairs or persons with limited mobility?
For 2020, we’re pleased to announce that we now offer seating for wheelchairs, including aboard the moving train, during selected THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride performances. Our all-new First Class Car has been completely remodeled with a wide platform and end door to make this access possible for the first time ever at our THE POLAR EXPRESS™ event. We also have introduced permanent, remodeled access to an onsite, accessible restroom here at the Museum site.

Will I have to wear a mask?
Yes. Masks are required to be worn at all times during this event, by all participants ages 3 and older, except while eating and drinking when seated and properly distanced. For the safety of our guests, cast and crew, we are unable to make exceptions to this policy.

Why are you selling tickets only in pairs and by tables this year?
We’ve reduced overall capacity for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in 2020 for safety. It’s also the reason we’ve moved to ticketing in pairs. Our goal is to provide adequate, safe distances in THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Pavilion and aboard trains for each group or pair of riders. We hope you agree these measures are reasonable, in order for us to safely bring you the Magic of The Polar Express™ in this challenging year.

Can I return my tickets for a refund?
No, we do not offer refunds. Tickets can be exchanged for a different day and time (if available) for a $4 per ticket exchange fee, and with enough notice before the originally scheduled event. Contact eTix at (720) 358-0615 for exchanges.

Can I transfer my THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets to a third party?
While the Colorado Railroad Museum does not encourage this practice, you may sell your ticket block to a third party. However, we request that you immediately inform the Museum of the transfer of ownership, and provide the Museum with the name and email address of the new ticket owner. Transferring a portion of your tickets may be done only if done in pairs (Standard Class) or Tables of Four (First Class). Note: In the past, FAKE tickets have been sold to unsuspecting individuals, and these cannot be honored. If you are purchasing such tickets, please contact us to ensure the seller actually purchased them.

What about transferring single tickets?
All tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride 2020 are being sold in pairs (Standard Class) or Tables of Four (First Class) to provide adequate, safe distances in our THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Pavilion and aboard trains for each group or pair of riders. Tickets may only be transferred in pairs (Standard Class) or Tables of Four (First Class). Note: We have learned that people may be transferring single tickets in hopes their odd-sized group can sit together. The Museum cannot accommodate this kind of seating arrangement and maintain adequate social distancing aboard trains. Any such ticket holder(s) will be seated together with the group their individual ticket was transferred from.

What if THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train RIde is Canceled for Any Reason?
In the unlikely event that THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train RIde has to be canceled, including due to public health orders or other factors beyond the control of the event, we will endeavor to contact you and your tickets will be refunded. 


Does THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train RIde take place aboard a real train?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum is a multi-part experience. Starting in THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Pavilion with a pre-show, once the clock strikes YOUR boarding time the show shifts into full throttle! The “Hot Chocolate” song and dance is performed live, followed by a dramatic reading and dramatization of The Polar Express™ story. Next, you’ll move outdoors to await the arrival of THE POLAR EXPRESS™, featuring vintage railroad coaches pulled by an authentic, coal-burning steam locomotive! You’ll head for the North Pole, where you’ll watch from aboard the train as Santa and his Elves give out “the first gift of Christmas.” Once your train returns, you’ll have the opportunity to visit with Santa and pick up your very own Silver Bell.

Which side of the train has the “best” view?
This year, the focus during the actual Train Ride part of your experience is on the performances taking place in the cars themselves! Characters from the movie will come alive inside your train car as you travel to the North Pole. Once the car has stopped at the North Pole, children will have the opportunity to stand and look out the window towards the North Pole for the best view.

Is there assigned seating aboard the train?
No. Seating is assigned by our staff after your purchase, in order to place different group sizes into appropriate seating arrangements. This is especially important due to the pandemic, and our desire to ensure reasonable spacing between rows and groups aboard the train.

Will I get to meet the Conductor of the train?
Yes, he will call “All Aboard” when the train is ready to leave the station. There will be other storybook characters on board the train as well, so you won’t want to miss this exciting journey.

If I haven’t read the book or watched the movie, will I still have a good time?
We recommend that you take the time to watch the movie before you journey to the Colorado Railroad Museum for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride experience. Yes, you can read along or just listen as we dramatically re-enact the story of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ on its adventure to the North Pole. But if you have read the book or—better yet—watched the movie, you’ll feel as though you’ve just stepped into the memorable and timeless story of this magical train ride, with your child as a part of the cast. 

Should my children dress in their pajamas?
In the story, all the children taking this magical train ride are awakened from their beds on Christmas Eve. Join the fun by bringing your children in their pajamas. Adults are also welcome to join the PJ party fun. *It’s winter in Colorado! Guests will be outside as they wait for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ to arrive, so make sure to wear warm layers.

Where can I buy a copy of the movie or story book?
Both are pretty widely available! During THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train RIde event, please stop by the Museum’s Depot Store for books, videos, games, and other holiday gift ideas. Many items are also available from our online web store.

How long is the experience?
Each performance lasts about 75 minutes, not including THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Pavilion pre-show.

Will my child get to meet Santa personally?
Yes, Santa will make an appearance at the North Pole, where he will give out “The First Gift of Christmas!” as everyone aboard the train watches. Once your train returns from the North Pole, Santa will be available for (socially distanced) visiting and photos.


 Arrival Time
The time listed for your performance is when the show actually BEGINS. Please plan to arrive 30 to 45 minutes in advance of the listed time. A pre-show will begin 45 minutes prior to your listed showtime to entertain you! Please DO NOT arrive too early – we cannot accommodate guests prior to 1 hour before to your performance showtime. Note: This arrival timing restriction is to ensure room for adequate social distancing in our check-in area. If you do arrive early, we ask that you wait inside your car until 1 hour prior to your listed showtime.

 Masks Are Required
All guests (ages 3 and older) will be required to wear a mask fully covering their nose and mouth at all times during the event, except while seated and eating or drinking while adequately socially distanced from other groups in our Polar Express Pavilion. Masks will also be required while riding THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train. Note: There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this requirement. If someone in your party is unable to wear a mask for any reason, you will be denied entry. For the safety of all our guests, cast and crew members, we will be strictly enforcing this requirement.

 Dress for Winter Weather
Be sure to wear comfortable, warm shoes! Pajamas are encouraged, of course, but please make sure to have jackets and protective outerwear available. You’ll be outside for 10-15 minutes to await the arrival of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ after enjoying the cabaret-style show in THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Pavilion. Lines form outside as well for visits with Santa after your ride. Additionally, because of added precautions due to COVID-19, our heated Pavilion will be partially open to allow for additional air circulation. NOTE: While this space is heated with forced air heaters, windy, snowy or especially cold nights may mean that we cannot fully control environmental comfort levels.

 Check-In Location has Changed
If you’ve attended THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in previous years, you may have gotten used to checking in at the Depot Store. For 2020, Check-In is located immediately opposite the main entry gate to the Museum’s parking lot. The Depot Store is the Event Exit only, to help ensure a one-way flow for all guests, further enhancing our added safety measures this year.

Where is the Colorado Railroad Museum Located?
We are at 17155 W. 44th Avenue, in Golden, CO 80403. From Denver, take I-70 east to CO Hwy 58. Take the Mcintyre Avenue exit, turn right, then immediately turn left onto W. 44th Avenue. The museum is a little over a mile to the east, on the right-hand (north) side of W. 44th Avenue.

Is parking free for the event?
Yes, parking for the 2020 Polar Express is free. It’s available on-site at the Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Avenue, Golden, CO 80403.

Are there restrooms aboard the train?
There are NO restrooms aboard the actual moving train. However, restrooms will be available before and during THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Pavilion cabaret-style show, prior to boarding of the train, and after your return. Accessible restrooms are located near our Depot Store building.

Will the event be canceled because of weather conditions?
No. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a seasonal winter event, and will operate in all weather conditions including rain or snow. Please dress appropriately—you’ll be outside a few minutes while waiting for the arrival of THE POLAR EXPRESS™! In case of inclement weather, please plan ahead and allow additional time to safely make your way to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

What is the Museum doing to ensure guest safety during COVID-19?
With enhanced health and safety protocols in place, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride has been adjusted for 2020 to meet local guidance. The health and well-being of our guests, cast and crew is our primary concern, and we’ve made changes to responsibly host this holiday tradition! The Colorado Railroad Museum follows current health guidelines and performs regular facility cleanings for everyone’s safety. Some of the measures in place for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride include:

  • Masks required for entry for guests ages 3 and up and must be worn at all times during the event, except when eating or drinking while seated and properly distanced.
  • Actors will perform behind Plexiglas when indoors and/or aboard trains, or with appropriate social distancing in place when performing outdoors. At all other times, actors will be masked.
  • Limited capacity entry to the event, allowing for safe distances to be maintained throughout the event and aboard the train ride.
  • Staggered train ride seating between groups, and sanitization before each train ride.
  • Advanced tickets required, sold at
  • Increased cleaning procedures throughout the event.
  • Tickets are sold only in pairs or by tables of four, to ensure groupings match up with seating arrangements.
  • Added signage for distancing and handwashing.

Official THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides are licensed by Rail Events, Inc. on behalf of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc. Since 2005, Rail Events, Inc. has held the exclusive license to operate THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters TM & © 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


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Golden, CO 80403

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