Nevada is blessed with a handful of historic railroads operating around the state, and they all devote considerable energy to creating forever Christmas memories. If there’s a child in your world, these train rides can stay with you for the rest of your lives.
Two of them welcome trainloads of children and their adult companions aboard the Ely Polar Express and the Carson City Polar Express at the east and west sides of the states repectively.
Conductors at the Ely depot call out “All Aboard” and the train whisks its passengers off to the North Pole, sipping at hot chocolate and nibbling on cookies served by elves in the exotic enviroment of a swaying, creaking, clickety-clacking railroad car. Some of them are dressed in pajamas, but none of them are sleepy. When they arrive at the North Pole, Santa steps aboard and each child receives a gift to remember this night. Even without a gift, the memory is indelible for the grownups too.
just as they do In Ely, families in Carson City climb aboard historic coaches dressed in sparkling holiday lights for the magical journey to the North Pole. They curl up and listen to the story of THE POLAR EXPRESS. They too sip at hot chocolate and they also nibble on cookies! VIP parlor car tickets are available.
You might think there is a mighty traffic jam at the North Pole as Polar Expresses from all over the country pull in, but the engineers are so deft, so graceful and so skilled that they never even catch sight of one another.
Virginia City‘s Candy Cane Express has a busy weekend schedule of festively decorated departures through December 16th. Steeped in holiday spirit, this whimsical train has become a cherished local tradition for families of all ages. On the scenic 50-minute journey over the 140-year old V&T railroad route, you will enjoy hot cocoa or cider, candy canes & cookies, and sing-a-long carols.
And the State Railroad Museums in Carson City and Boulder City both operate Santa Trains.
Each rider on the Carson City Santa Train receives a candy cane from Santa Claus upon boarding. Tickets are $5 for all riders; children 2 and under sitting in an adult lap are FREE.
Refreshments are offered for sale. Explore the museum and have your photo taken with the magnificent locomotive Inyo (for an additional fee). Online ticket sales close 24 hours before departure and only select trains are available for ticket purchase online. Walk-up tickets are available for purchase each day of Santa Train.
starts up at 10 am on December 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd. This 40-minute ride along the Boulder Branch Line features fun on board with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a toy train exhibit, Santa’s sleigh for photos, North Pole mailbox and depot gift store. Purchase Santa Train Tickets.
The Boulder City Pajama Train makes two runs each evening, at 6 and 8 pm, on December 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st. Purchase Pajama Train Tickets
From a Trip Advisor Review: Last year I wrote the pajama train was fun but the kids couldn’t see out the window because it was so dark out; so this year we went at 3:00. Seeing out the window is highly over rated, next year I’m back on the PJ train in the club car. Santa and his helpers were great though, day trip takes about 25 minutes; longer for the PJ trip.
Editor’s Choice —
Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram — A Bad Day for Comstock Mining Inc.
Overheard at the El Capitan in Hawthorne: “Torture is designed to produce confessions, Ted, and it always works — confessions to anything you want.”
Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram — Staying at the Hotel Nevada in Ely
15 Years Ago in the NevadaGram — 2003 Governor’s Conference on Tourism
Parting Shot —
Fly Geyser at Gerlach by Robin Cobbey