It's not even spring yet and the North Pole Express is gearing up for the 2018 season. This is from their facebook page. Just remember that the village doesn't handle train tickets. You must go to the Steam Railroad web page to purchase tickets.
This Holiday Season, climb aboard for a magical journey back in time to the Christmas of yesteryears when you join us on the North Pole Express! Pulled by the Pere Marquette 1225, this majestic steam locomotive is most famous for its role in the 2004 Warner Bros Christmas Classic, THE POLAR EXPRESS. The 1225's blueprints were used as the prototype for the locomotive image, and its sounds were used to bring the Polar Express to life!
Depart from the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan for an hour-long ride to the Village of Ashley’s Country Christmas. We will be providing four classes to choose from, each offering a different type of service and ambiance to the passengers as the North Pole Express races northbound:
Upon arrival in Ashley, passengers will disembark for a two-hour layover to participate in the numerous activities the village has to offer; including live entertainment, arts and crafts, as well as having your picture taken in front of the massive 1225. Of course, the highlight will be meeting Santa Clause himself and even writing a letter to him!
The Pere Marquette 1225 was built in October 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works for the Pere Marquette Railroad. In 1957, the locomotive was retired and donated to the Michigan State University in East Lansing for display as an outdoor artifact to commemorate the steam era. In 1969, a group of university students commenced the restoration attempt on 1225 to operational service. Work continued in 1983 when the locomotive was moved to its new home in Owosso where the restoration was completed in 1988. Today, the 1225 is owned, maintained and operated by the Steam Railroading Institute.
The North Pole Express will operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting on November 16th and concluding on December 16th: