2023 North Pole Express tickets sold out - but more could come available

Well, you coming? 

That line from the "Polar Express" uttered by the conductor to the little boy seems apt for this story. The 2023 North Pole Express, which features the iconic Pere Marquette steam engine used to model the train in the movie, has completely sold out.

Tickets went on sale on Tuesday at noon. There was a bit of a hiccup with buying tickets on the site as the Steam Railroad Institute (SRI) said the servers were overwhelmed with the demand. Less than 4 hours after tickets went on sale, the SRI said tickets were effectively sold out.

What that means is that there are a few single seats and some adults only seats in the Parlour Class (scroll down for details) but there are no other seats remaining now. 

But - not all hope is lost. The SRI said sometimes, people do return their tickets and those will be reposted for sale on the SRI website. The organization also urged people to beware of scams.

"We know there is a HUGE demand for the limited number of seats on our trains. We advise you to be aware of scams. Please don’t purchase tickets from unknown sources. There are no authorized third party ticket sellers for our North Pole Express tickets. We do not allow ticket resale on our Facebook page."

Unfortunately, if you don't have a seat now, you may not get one.

Image via https://www.michigansteamtrain.com/

The first rides will run on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

After the initial ride, the SRI will run the express every Saturday and Sunday at the same times through Dec. 17.

There is a special ride on the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 24 at 2 pm as well.

Learn more about the North Pole Express here.

Attendees wave to people while riding the North Pole Express during the 82nd annual CWH Santa School in Owosso, Michigan, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. The U.S. Department of Labor said jobless claims fell to 210k in the week ended Oct. 5, below the

What are the ticket options for the North Pole Express?

There are six different options to buy tickets and they start at $70 per passenger and all seating will be assigned when tickets are purchased and all include a souvenir ticket, ‘Believe’ bell, a cup of hot cocoa, on-board entertainment by volunteers, and admission to the Village of Ashley's Country Christmas.

Coach Class

  • This ticket costs you $70 each and seating has typically been the MSTX 5447 Comet and MSTX 147 Cupid.
  • Seating is assigned on the vintage 1950s coach car

Coach Deluxe

  • If you want to spend a bit more per person, you can pay $80 to ride on the MSTX 736 snowflake.
  • This car is a deluxe, vintage 1960s Hi-Level coach and is not available to anyone with walking disabilities or who cannot climb stairs. Entrance onto and off the train will require climbing up and down the stairs.

Cocoa Class

  • At $95 per passenger, you can ride the MSTX 5646 Dasher, MSTX 5576 Vixen and MSTX 5581 Dancer
  • This is a vintage 1950s coach car and comes with a souvenir ‘North Pole Express’ mug and unlimited hot cocoa

Claus Club

  • At $460, you can secure a table for an entire party of four in a vintage 1950s dining car.
  • Like the cocoa class, it comes with a souvenir mug and includes sweet treats and unlimited hot cocoa

Pere Marquette Parlour

  • This one is only for the grown-ups - so if you've got little ones, scroll past here. You must show your ID
  • At $150, you can secure a sofa seat, for $150 you can get a swivel chair, or for $300 you can get a table for two.
  • You get assigned seating in a high-level dome lounge car, panoramic views, hor d'oeuvres, seasonal cocktails, plus the mug and unlimited cocoa
  • Similar to the coach deluxe, these are not available to people with walking disabilities or who cannot climb stairs.


  • For $1,900 - if you're really looking for a unique trip and have a large party, the Caboose package could be yours. It rides in the historic caboose and includes two levels of seating plus a private conductor.
  • You also get a souvenir mug and unlimited hot cocoa
  • This is perfect for multiple families as it can accommodate up to 12 passengers.

Pere Marquette Private Car (NEW in 2023)

  • Got a really big group? Like - lots of people? You can actually book this one now and is available for all ages.
  • For $5,000, you can book the Pere Marquette Private car which can accommodate between 28 and 36 people.
  • It's a first-class car reserved exclusively for you.
  • It includes high-end seating with panoramic views, hor d'oeuvres, seasonal cocktails for purchase, plus the mug and unlimited cocoa
  • NOTE: $1,000 is required to hold the car and the amount must be paid in full by Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.
  • You can book between now and July 24 by calling 989-720-3957
  • Similar to the coach deluxe and parlor cars, these are not available to people with walking disabilities or who cannot climb stairs.

Get tickets here.