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Important update: 2020 Mid-Norfolk Railway The Polar Express™ Train Ride has been cancelled. Customers have been contacted by e-mail. See main page for details.

FAQs

  • How long does the experience last?

    Please arrive at the time shown on your tickets, the story begins about 20 minutes before the train departs.

    You’ll be waving us goodbye (until your next visit) about 2 hours after you arrive.

  • What’s the difference between Premium and Standard seats?

    Premium

    Our Premium seats are located in our Premium carriages and are arranged around tables in fours or twos. As well as additional comfort, Premium ticket holders also receive free parking at Dereham Station and 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 five to six people will be usually be seated directly across the aisle from each other. Groups over six in Premium will be arranged to avoid individuals from the group being on their own. For example, a booking of seven in Premium would result in the party being split between two tables NOT opposite each other across the aisle, this will result in three at one table and four on a adjacent table along the aisle. The fourth seat on the table of three may be occupied by a member of another group. If you would prefer not to share a table with members of another group, we recommend booking in even numbers of seats.

    A booking for three people in Premium may result in either:

    A. All three people seated at the table with four seats (with a member of another party in the fourth seat) or

    B. Two people at seated at the table with two seats with the third member of the party across the aisle sharing the table with four seats with members of another party.

    If you would prefer not to share a table with members of another party, we advise you to book in even numbers where possible.

    Standard

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

    In Standard, groups of five to eight people will be usually be seated directly across the aisle from each other. Groups over eight in Standard will be arranged to avoid individuals from the group being on their own. For example, a booking of nine in Standard would usually be seated in two adjacent tables NOT opposite across the aisle, this then allows the ninth member of the group to be seated across the aisle from one of the tables of four.

    We advise you to book in even numbers where possible.

  • Tickets and Prices

    How can I buy tickets?

    All tickets are sold on this website. You cannot order tickets via phone or in person. We accept all major credit and debit cards as payment and we use WorldPay as our payment processor.

    How much do the tickets cost?

    Prices for 2020 – different prices apply on different days, the experience is the same but the prices are different.

    Peak Days (18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December):

    • Standard Seating: £29.50
    • Premium Seating: £44.50

    Classic Days (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th December):

    • Standard Seating: £27.50
    • Premium Seating: £42.00

    Saver Days (14th, 15th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th November & 27th, 28th and 29th December):

    • Standard Seating: £26.00
    • Premium Seating: £39.50

    To find out more about our Standard and Premium tickets please see here.

    Are there discounts available?

    Due to the popularity of the event, there are no discounts available.

    What is the classification for tickets?

    Adults are 16 and over on the day of the event.

    Children are 2 years old to 15 years old on the day of the event.

    Children under 2 years can travel for £3.00 but must be held on an adult’s lap at all times when on the train, no seat will be allocated for under 2’s. Proof of age may be asked for on the day.

    Are tickets sent to me in the post?

    Yes, we aim to post tickets no later than 4 weeks before the event.

     I have lost my tickets.

    If you have lost your tickets these will not be resent. Therefore, on the day of the event, you must print or show electronically your order confirmation on arrival. If you can’t find the order confirmation in your inbox, please check your spam folder, if you still don’t have it, please contact us.

    Can I purchase a Mug/Bell separately to my order?

    Sorry, we cannot sell the Mugs, Bags or Bells separately. Bells are provided to all passengers. Mugs are provided to all Premium passengers. Subject to availability, a different design of mug may be available in the Gift Shop at the venue exit.

    Are tickets transferable?

    Tickets are printed with the original booker’s name and address on them. If the same number of adults/children/adults with baby under 2 on lap attend as printed on the ticket, this is acceptable. Please be careful if you are considering buying your tickets from anywhere except this website. If we have any concerns whether the ticket is genuine, we may ask for proof of address to match that printed on the ticket and our records.

    Linking orders

    In previous years we allowed separate orders to be linked and allocated seats near each other. Due to the popularity of this event seats have to be allocated at booking so we are unable to guarantee that separate orders can be seated together. If you wish to sit in a big group together, please make one booking for everyone in your party. Please confirm your arrangements with all members of your party before making a booking.

  • Where do the event profits go?

    This event is run by The Mid-Norfolk Railway (Trading) Ltd. All profits from the event are used to further the aims of The Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust, which is a registered charity and also a company limited by guarantee. Company number: 3037014 Charity number: 1046931.

    The Trust and its volunteers use the proceeds of the event to restore, maintain and improve the Mid-Norfolk Railway between Wymondham-Thuxton-Dereham-North Elmham and County School.

    Learn more about the railway at: www.mnr.org.uk

  • Is this event accessible to those with disabilities?

    Is the railway suitable for guests with disabilities?

    Whilst we are a heritage railway, we aim to try and accommodate those with disabilities as best as we can. All our platforms are surfaced to be easy to walk on. Do please be aware there are some areas where the surface is slightly uneven.

    Are there disabled toilets available?

    Yes, we have toilets available for our disabled guests. Should you wish to use the facilities please ask a member of staff who will be happy to guide you to them.

    Can wheelchair users board the train whilst in their wheelchair?

    Yes, but unfortunately the space for wheelchairs on board the trains is limited due to the age of the coaches, British Rail didn’t build the doorways wide enough for wheelchairs on most coaches.

    We have two coaches which are accessible. We have three wheelchair spaces available on every train, two spaces are in Standard, one is in Premium. We are investigating how we can provide more wheelchair accessible spaces in future.

    Our staff will be happy to assist you board the train via a ramp and guide you to a table with the rest of your party without you having to leave your wheelchair.

    To ensure we allocate the wheelchair accessible spaces on the trains to those who require them and allocate the surrounding seats to the same party, please contact us before making a booking and we will be happy to confirm availability and reserve the seats for you.

    Is there any parking for guests with disabilities?

    There is parking available for Blue Badge holders at Dereham Station. However this is limited and has to be allocated on a first come basis. We are more than happy to accommodate guests being dropped off and picked up if required.

  • How to Prepare for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

    What should I wear for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?

    We encourage our guests, young and old to wear pyjamas just as in the book with a dressing gown for good measure also. Children love it and if you can persuade our older guests, Mums, Dads, Granny and Grandpa to also join in, the atmosphere in the train comes alive for a truly magical experience!

    For the safety of our guests we ask that they wear sturdy, closed toed shoes and not slippers, open toed shoes, flip-flops etc.

    What should I bring?

    Don’t forget your tickets and order confirmation! You will need your golden ticket to board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride so don’t forget this! These will have been posted to you, if you haven’t received yours see the tickets FAQ for details.

    This is a magical experience that you will want to cherish forever, so we recommend bringing a camera. Be sure to share your best memories with us on our Twitter and Facebook profiles too so we can share the magic!

    As you will be outside when boarding and departing THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride we ask that you dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

  • Cookie and Hot Chocolate Allergy Information

    Our delicious Hot Chocolate contains Milk. We are also able to supply a soya milk based alternative.

    Our Cookies contain a number of potential allergens including Gluten, Milk, Soya and Eggs, they don’t contain nuts or sesame but nuts and sesame are used in other products made in the same bakery. Full details will be supplied when served. We may be able to offer an alternative but due to the huge range of potential allergens, unfortunately we may not be able to accommodate all possible allergies.

    You can indicate allergies on your booking and we will try source an alternative to suit your requirements but no guarantees on suitability can be made.

    You are welcome to bring an alternative with you for members of your party who have allergies.

  • When will my tickets arrive?

    Tickets will be posted out in the Autumn, however all orders received after 7pm Sunday 1st November 2020 will be available for collection on arrival only, these will not be posted to you.

    If your tickets haven’t arrived in time or there hasn’t been enough time for us to send them out, don’t worry. Your golden tickets will be available to collect upon arrival.

    Please double check the date and time of your booking on your confirmation email, we don’t want you to miss your train!

    The story starts a little while before you move onto the station platform and board the train, please arrive at the time shown on your booking confirmation email.

  • How To Get Here / Parking

    When should we arrive for the event?

    We recommend you arrive at Dereham Station (where you will check-in) at the time shown on your tickets.  The story begins about 20 minutes before you board the train and depart for the North Pole.

    Where do I park?

    Premium Ticket Holders for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event should use the postcode NR19 1DF and look for the signposts for the Mid-Norfolk Railway.

    Standard Tickets Holders should use one of the free public car parks in Dereham – Theatre Street NR19 2EN, Cowper Road NR19 2AN or Commercial Road NR19 1TR. For more details on car parking, please see Parkopedia.

    Public Transport

    By Bus/Coach
    Dereham is served regularly with local buses from Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Fakenham, Kings Lynn, Wisbech & Peterborough by Excel (operated by First) and Konectbus as well as National Express coaches.

    By Rail
    The nearest mainline stations are at Norwich, accessible by bus with Konectbus and King’s Lynn with Excel (operated by First).

    Where can those with disabilities park?

    There is parking available for disabled guests (Blue Badge holders only) at Dereham Station. However, this is extremely limited and we therefore ask you to note this on your booking.

    Remember, it’s November/December!

    As the event takes place in November & December please do prepare for wintry road conditions, remember this is England, weather can vary dramatically, however this event will run no matter the weather conditions even in rain and snow.

    The Mid-Norfolk Railway is not liable for any road closures or delays. No refunds are given if we run the train as advertised but you miss it due to weather conditions or any other reason beyond our control.

  • Is the train pulled by a steam engine?

    Although we operate steam trains on the line between Dereham, Wymondham and Worthing in the summer, the carriages used for this event have electric lighting, sound system and heating to ensure maximum comfort on cold winter evenings, therefore the train will be hauled by one of our fleet of classic heritage diesel-electric locomotives. The locomotives were built in the 1950’s and 60’s and saved from the scrap yards by dedicated enthusiasts.

  • Does the train move or is it stationary?

    Yes, the train does move. During the experience you will travel to the North Pole – keep an eye out for a very special man in red! – and your journey will end back at Dereham Station

  • Email Confirmation

    I have not had an email?

    Sadly our emails are blocked and seen as spam by some email providers, please check your junk/spam folders. If no luck, please email us by clicking here.

  • Refund, Cancellations and Alterations Policy

    What is the cancellation / alteration / refund policy?

    Unfortunately, due to the popularity of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event, we are unable to offer any cancellations, refunds, or reschedules, therefore please be sure you can attend on the dates/times you select before you make payment and book. The train can depart in rain and snow. In the unfortunate event your train is unable to operate, you will be notified immediately and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule where possible. See below for details regarding cancellation of all 2020 trains due to COVID-19.

    Should a refund be issued at our discretion for any other reason, a fee of £10 will apply and will be removed from the refund. The booking fee is non-refundable.

    Due to the number of bookings received, we are unable to seat separate/multiple bookings together. If you wish to sit with another family or friends etc, you will need to make one large booking with them. Please confirm your arrangements with everyone you plan to come with before making a booking.

    If you need to change a booking to another train or date, please contact us, if space is available this may be possible, however there will be a £25 admin charge for this. Please check your booking details carefully before completing your purchase.

    Seating

    Our carriages have seating arranged in 4’s around a table, if you do not book your tickets in multiples of 4 due to high demand for seats it is possible you will not be sat with your family around a table. Likewise, bookings of odd numbers of seats could see you split up. We offer to do our best in seating people together but this may not always be possible.

    What if the weather is bad and travel will be difficult?

    As the event takes place in December please do prepare for wintry road conditions, remember this is England, weather can vary dramatically, however this event will run in all weather conditions even in rain and snow. No refunds will be given if you can’t get to us and the train runs as advertised.

    The Mid-Norfolk Railway is not responsible for the winter weather or your transport arrangements to us or any road closures or delays or cancellations on your journey to us. Please leave plenty of time to travel safely to us. 

    What if the Coronavirus restrictions affect the event?

    In the unfortunate event the train is unable to operate because of Health Protection Regulations due to a pandemic (e.g. COVID-19) you will be notified as soon as possible and given a complete refund (minus the booking fee) or, if available, the opportunity to reschedule.

    Refunds may take up to 70 days to process if your train is cancelled because of Health Protection Regulations in force preventing the experience taking place. Booking fees will not be refunded.

    If Health Protection Regulations are not in place and the train still operates, no refunds will be made for customers taking the personal choice to not attend event. You may wish to make your own insurance arrangements to cover such an eventuality.

    Full Terms

    Our full terms and conditions can be seen by clicking here.

  • What if we are unable to run trains because of government restrictions?

    In the unfortunate event the train is unable to operate because of Health Protection Regulations due to a pandemic (e.g. COVID-19) you will be notified as soon as possible and given a complete refund (minus the booking fee) or, if available, the opportunity to reschedule.

    Refunds may take up to 70 days to process if your train is cancelled because of Health Protection Regulations in force preventing the experience taking place. Booking fees will not be refunded.

    If Health Protection Regulations are not in place and the train still operates, no refunds will be made for customers taking the personal choice to not attend event. You may wish to make your own insurance arrangements to cover such an eventuality.

  • Customer Services

    How do I contact customer service?

    Please read through the FAQs, we have provided answers for all the regular enquiries we receive. If you need to contact us please do so via email to polarexpress@mnr.org.uk by clicking here.

    We aim to respond to all emails within 2 working days.

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