Volunteer Run Since 1979

FAQs - Polar Express

General

Our Polar Express Train Ride will depart from the Brechin Station, Park Road, Brechin. DD9 7AF.

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The actual train ride lasts around an hour (approximately 30 minutes in each direction), however, there is some pre-boarding activity so we suggest you allow 2 hours for the whole experience and make sure to turn up with sufficient time to park and get to the train.

In 2024, the Polar Express Train Ride will operate on the following dates;

Our tickets are priced depending on time and date of travel and class of travel. These vary from £30.95 to £53.95 plus booking fee for this amazing theatrical train-based experience. Please see the Ticket Shop page for further information.

Caledonian Railway Brechin Ltd is a registered charity that maintains and operates the heritage railway line between Brechin and Bridge of Dun using our steam and heritage diesel fleet. The railway is run entirely by volunteers and all profits are returned to the railway to support continued maintenance and improvement and our support for the local community.

Joining instructions, including how to get to us and parking, will be provided prior to the event for all ticket holders. You can also find information on our location on our Website or Facebook page.

The Experience

We have event parking in addition to on-street and local council car parking. Joining instructions will be provided prior to the event with detailed instructions.

Our services will have a steam locomotive on one end and a heritage diesel locomotive on the other. However, because of the ever-increasing age of our locomotives, and despite our best efforts, sometimes locomotives breakdown and we may have to substitute our booked locomotive for an alternative to ensure the experience goes ahead.

You do don’t have to wear PJ's, however we encourage visitors to wear them wear possible to get the most out of their experience. Please be aware that although we have heating on the train, make sure to wrap up warmly underneath as it can be very cold outside when you are getting on and off the train. Do not worry if you choose not to wear PJ’s, we will still let you travel to the North Pole!

Due to the heritage nature of our rolling stock and current legislation we have very limited toilet facilities on our trains. We have full toilet facilities at each station, including baby changing and disabled. The trip in each direction between stations takes approximately 30 minutes.

Our trains are fully heated the old fashioned way - by using steam from the steam locomotive!

Joining instructions will be sent to you with further details prior to the event. However, you should aim to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time. The trains will depart promptly so please do not be late or you will miss your train!

Unfortunately, the inside of our trains are too small for pushchairs and buggies. Please either leave these in your car or at the station prior to boarding.

We are a very dog friendly railway and many of our events allow your four-legged friends. However, due to the distribution of cookies and hot chocolate, we do not allow dogs on the train for this event. We are sorry for any inconvenience this non-dog friendly event may cause.

Tickets

All tickets are sold online via the online Ticket Shop page. Please note that you cannot book tickets via phone or in person.

Premium

Our Premium seats are located in our Premium carriages and are arranged by compartments, which can hold parties of up to 8 people (not including babies). As well as additional comfort, Premium ticket holders also receive a ‘unique for this year’ Souvenir Polar Express™ Ceramic Mug and Bag to take home – these are not available to buy in the shop!

In Premium, groups of up to eight people will usually be seated in one compartment. We will never seat more than one group in one compartment. Groups over eight in Premium will have multiple compartments and you can agree amongst yourselves how you would like to split the groups!

Standard

Standard seats in our Standard carriages are arranged in fours around tables.

If your group has more than four people, you can book seats opposite each other across the aisle. You can select seats to ensure that no member of your party is seated on their own. We will not put members of another party at your table.

We aim to provide all of our visitors with a high quality and memorable experience on board the Polar Express. Unlike many other Polar Express Train Rides across the country, we do not mix different groups within the same compartment or at the same table. As a result, we have set a minimum order quantity of 2 for Standard Tickets and 4 for Premium Tickets.

Yes, all visitors must have a ticket. Babies are aged under 2 at the time of the event. All babies have to travel on the knee of an adult as they will not be allocated a designated seat on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Please note that all 'Baby on Lap' do not receive a Golden Ticket, Silver Bells, Hot Chocolate or Cookies.

Once you have placed your booking online, you will receive an email with your booking confirmation and your etickets will be attached as a PDF.

The 'Baby on Lap' option is not shown on the first page of your eticket. Please see the 'Booking Summary' section on the next page. Please also refer to the contents of your 'Booking Confirmation' email.

Yes - if there are seats available next to your existing seats, we can add more tickets onto your booking. Please contact us via email. There is no minimum order quantity for adding extra tickets onto an existing booking.

Yes, bookings may be amended up to 7 business days prior to the date of travel. All booking amendments are subject to a £10 admin fee. Please contact us via email if you would like to amend your booking.

Regretably, all bookings for The Polar Express Train Ride are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Golden tickets can be collected at the Booking Office when checking in at the event.

Cookies and Hot Chocolate Allergy Information

We want to make sure nobody at our event feels left out. Our standard Cookies and Hot Chocolate contain a number of potential allergens which may include Gluten, Milk, Soya and Eggs. When you make your booking you will be asked to advise of any allergens that affect your party and the number – we will make every effort to provide you with an alternative. However, unfortunately we may not be able to accommodate all possible allergies – we will discuss this with you if this is the case.

When you make your booking, please select any allergens that you may be affected by and advise how many members of the party that are affected.

While we will store and segregate these to ensure absolutely no cross-contamination, you are more than welcome to bring an alternative drink and cookie with you for any member of your party who has severe allergies if you would prefer. A number of our team are Coeliac, dairy intolerant etc so you can be assured we are aware of your concerns.

The answer you gave during the booking process can be found on your eticket on the second page above Booking Summary.

Accessibility

Whilst we are a heritage railway and many of our vehicles were built before such concerns were suitably addressed, we aim to try and accommodate those with disabilities as best as far as possible.

We have a wheelchair accessible saloon where you and your party can be seated – please note that the Accessible Saloon can only be booked by contacting the railway.

Alternatively, if you are able to move around a little out of your wheelchair and board the train with support from your party or others, you can sit in the coach and store your wheelchair in the brakevan. Please discuss this with us prior to your visit.

We have an accessibility document for your trip to the railway. If you have any further questions you can contacting us prior to booking so we can make sure that the event is suitable for you.

Yes, we have toilets available for our disabled guests at both stations. Should you wish to use the toilets please ask one of our volunteers who will be happy to guide you to them.

Please note there are no disabled facilities on the train – this is something we are actively working on to modify our heritage coaches, but this is a major engineering exercise.

We have an accessibility document for your trip to the railway. If you have any further questions you can contact us prior to booking so we can make sure that the event is suitable for you.

Miscellaneous

Please read thoroughly check through the FAQs — we have tried to provide answers for all the regular enquiries we receive. If you have a question but cannot see the answer here, please email us. We aim to respond to all messages as quickly as possible, however, please remember we are a volunteer organisation and most of our members have day jobs, so please be patient.