Tickets on sale November 18 for this enchanting family-friendly experience.

For the first time in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, Puffing Billy Railway will bring the magic of film to life with 13 days of festive fun on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

Beginning December 11 – 23 and bound for the North Pole, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will immerse guests in the sights, sounds, and intrigue of this treasured holiday classic while weaving through the railway’s original mountain track from Belgrave to Menzies Creek and Lakeside.

Inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s Christmas picture book and the 2004 animated hit movie, The Polar Express tells the story of a boy who takes an enchanting Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa.

With golden tickets in hand, Puffing Billy Railway’s THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride starts at Belgrave Station, giving passengers the chance to meet characters from the book, listen to a book reading of The Polar Express prior to boarding, live out scenes from the movie, and sing along to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, all while wearing their best set of pyjamas! The train ride will whisk families away on an hour-long journey (one-way) through the rainforests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges, with characters waiting at Menzies Creek and Lakeside Station stop to keep the Christmas spirit in check.

Once the train rolls into Lakeside, ticketholders will enjoy hot chocolate, a delicious cookie and one final theatrical performance before the man himself – Santa Claus – appears and welcomes the young and young at heart into his official North Pole residence at the Lakeside Visitor Centre!

With just over two hours to enjoy at the centre, there will be activities aplenty, including:

  • A special Meet & Greet with Santa and his little helpers
  • Unique photo opportunities with Santa and his little helpers
  • A Letters to Santa workshop
  • A scavenger hunt activity that leads guests through the Lakeside Visitor Centre. Guess all the clues right and receive a prize to take home!
  • A variety of popular Christmas carols to enjoy throughout the day
  • Exclusive to Puffing Billy Railway in Australia THE POLAR EXPRESS™ merchandise in the gift shop

For a truly memorable experience, passengers can pre-order and enjoy one of several dining packages available at the Lakeside Visitor Centre during the stopover.

On the return trip, all guests will take home a keepsake sleigh bell – heard by all those who BELIEVE! – their souvenir golden ticket and the merry memories made on this jolly train trip.

Offering one POLAR EXPRESS™ service per day, popular dates are expected to fill quickly. Seats are now available for departures beginning December 11 and continuing daily through to December 23. Online bookings are essential and can be made at

All-inclusive ticket fares include:

  • Family (2A + 2C) – $184.00
  • Adult (16+ years) – $ 73.00
  • Children (4-15 years) – $38.00
  • Toddler (1-3 years) – $25.00

For further information or to book, visit

View PDF here.


Official THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides are licensed by Rail Events Inc. on behalf of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc. Since 2007, Rail Events Inc. has held exclusive license to operate THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.


THE POLAR EXPRESS film is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic Christmas picture book, which tells the story of a boy who takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. First published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1985, The Polar Express became an instant family favorite and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. In 1986 it won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for Illustration.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, the Wizarding World, Looney Tunes, and Hanna-Barbera.

The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About Rail Events Inc.

Rail Events Inc. is the industry leader in rail-related special events management. In 2019, the company licensed events that hosted over 1.4 million guests at 54 partner railroads in the US, Canada, and the UK. Rail Events Inc. and Rail Events Productions are wholly owned subsidiaries of American Heritage Railways, which is the premier operator of heritage railroads in the United States.

About Puffing Billy Railway

The world-famous Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway, which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900, is a genuine relic of more leisurely days.

The historic steam train ran regularly in the Victorian mountain district and was built to serve at the turn of the century to transport goods and passengers throughout the district. The railway travels 24kms through the forests and fern gullies of the magnificent Dandenong Ranges to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook – the original terminus of the line – and is one of two survivors of five experimental narrow-gauge lines used to develop rural areas in Victoria during the early 1900s.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s21)
Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book and characters © & ™ 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.