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PLEASE NOTE - Additional tickets CANNOT be added to existing bookings as seats have now been allocated, any additional seats purchased are likely to be in a different carriage from the seats originally booked. Premium and Standard seats are in different carriages and therefore CANNOT sit together. Tickets booked after 2 October will be available for collection on arrival only. See https://midnorfolkthepolarexpressride.com/faq/how-do-i-get-my-tickets/

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ticket Information

    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 Stripe as our payment processor.

    How much do the tickets cost?

    Prices for 2023 – different prices apply on different days, the experience is the same but the prices are different.

    Saver Days (11th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 29th, 30th November & 1st December)

    • Standard Seating: £31.95
    • Premium Seating: £45.95

    Classic Days (2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th and 15th December):

    12:15 and 14:15 trains:

    • Standard Seating: £31.95
    • Premium Seating: £45.95

    All other trains in this band:

    • Standard Seating: £35.95
    • Premium Seating: £49.95

    Peak Days (16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December):

    12:15 and 14:15 trains (excluding 23rd December):

    • Standard Seating: £35.95
    • Premium Seating: £49.95

    All other trains in this band:

    • Standard Seating: £39.95
    • Premium Seating: £53.95

    PLEASE NOTE all four trains on 23rd December are priced at £39.95 for Standard Seating and £53.95 for Premium Seating.

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

    Seat Allocations

    Due to the popularity of this event seats are alloacted as soon as a booking is made. Further information regarding linking order can be found below.

    Are there discounts available?

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

    What is the classification for tickets?

    Adults are 18 and over on the day of the event.

    Children are 2 years old to 17 years old on the day of the event. Child tickets cannot be purchased without also purchasing at least one Adult ticket at the same time, children aged 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over.

    Children under 2 years can travel 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 2 weeks before the event. Please note that orders containing more than 20 seats will not receive golden tickets via the post, they will instead receive an email copy of the final confirmation letter and must collect their souvenir Golden Tickets at the check-in desk on the night of travel.  

    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. We reserve the right to request ID and/or address verification to accompany your order confirmation at check in.

    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 identification and/or proof of address to match that printed on the ticket and our records, and we reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone unable to provide this.

    Linking orders

    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.

  • 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 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 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.

  • Ticket Protection

    Customers are able to purchase Ticket Protection as part of their booking. Ticket Protection is supplied by a third party company – Secure My Booking – and can only be purchased at the point of booking, it cannot be added retrospectively. The terms and conditions of the third party provider are final.

    The cost of Ticket Protection is £3.50 per ticket and is NON-REFUNDABLE in all circumstances. Full details of coverage, including what is covered and what is not covered, can be found via the following link:

    https://securemybooking.com/make-a-claim/uk/

    Please read these details carefully to ensure that the policy meets your needs prior to purchase.

  • 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. Please check your booking details carefully before completing your purchase.

    Service Charges and Ticket Protection are non refundable in all circumstances.

    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.

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

    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 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?

    We will be following all up to date government guidance regarding Covid-19. We reserve the right to make alterations to the experience should this be necessary to comply with any government restrictions, including altering the times of the experience. This maybe up to 1 hour either way to allow us to manage social distancing and cleaning. We may also if necessary, for example, ask passengers to wear facemasks unless eating or drinking. We will of course notify all customers should any government enforced requirements change in the run up to 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 service and ticket protection charges) or, if available, the opportunity to reschedule.

    Refunds may take up to 90 days to process if your train is cancelled because of Health Protection Regulations in force preventing the experience taking place.

    If Health Protection Regulations are not in place and the train still operates, no refunds will be made for customers not attending the event. Ticket protection can only be purchased at point of booking (it is not available retrospectively). Ticket protection is provided by a third party company Secure My Booking and their Terms and Conditions are final. Further information regarding Ticket Protection can be found here.

     

    Full Terms

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

  • How long does the experience last?

    Please arrive at the time shown on your booking – this provides us with sufficient time to ensure everyone is checked in with plenty of time for the story to then begin approximately 20 minutes before the train departs.

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

  • 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.

  • When will my tickets arrive?

    Tickets will be posted out from October onwards and you should receive these at least two weeks before your trip. Please note, all orders received after 11:59pm Sunday 1st October 2023 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! You should aim to arrive at the station at the time you’ve booked for.

    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?

    Please 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

    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.  Please make sure that you bring your parking permit, you will have received this with your golden tickets, on the night to gain access to the station car park (if you did not receive this from us please instead bring your email order confirmation either printed out or on a mobile device as proof). Admission to the car park will only be permitted a maximum of 30 minutes prior to your booked time. Once you have returned from your trip to the North Pole and have visited the Gift Shop, we would please ask you to vacate the car park promptly to allow space for our next arriving guests.

    Standard Ticket Holders

    Standard Tickets Holders should use one of the free public car parks in Dereham, a map of which can be found here . Please note that whilst the car parks in Dereham are currently free to park, some do have a maximum stay time limit. We ask that prior to travelling to Dereham, you plan your visit and parking accordingly.

    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 very limited parking available for Blue Badge holders only at Dereham Station. However, as this is so extremely limited it can only be allocated on a first come basis. If there are no spaces available when arriving, you will then need to find alternative parking. You are still more than welcome to drop off/pick up at Dereham Station if it is possible for your party to do so.

    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.

  • Cookie and Hot Chocolate Allergy Information

    Our delicious Hot Chocolate contains Milk. We are also able to supply an oat 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 to 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.

  • 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

  • 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 one coach which is accessible. We have one wheelchair space available on every train in Premium.

    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 space 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.

     

  • Is the event Autism friendly?

    While we are not running any specific Autism Friendly services, guests with additional needs are welcome on all of our trains across the event. We do understand that some guests may find parts of their experience challenging so we have produced the following to help you decide whether or not the event is suitable for your party.

    There are over 450 people on each of our trains which means that our marquee and platform areas are busy and noisy. Once on the train you are unable to disembark until the end of your journey. The carriages are filled with music, dancing and singing therefore are very loud, exciting spaces.

    Our staff and volunteers are on hand to help in any way they can should you require any assistance.

  • My tickets haven’t arrived or I’ve made a booking after 2nd October 2023, how do I get my tickets?

    Your Golden Tickets will be given to you at check-in. The following information is sent by post to customers who booked before 2nd October 2023:

    You should arrive at Dereham Railway Station (postcode NR19 1DF) at the time you’ve booked and make your way to the Entry Marquee to the left of the main station building.

    Standard Ticket holders: We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to drop off at Dereham Station (Satnav: NR19 1DF) but please note that parking at Dereham Station is not available. There are no charges for using public car parks in Dereham although some operate a maximum stay time limit. A map of these is here. Please note that there are time restrictions on some of the car parks therefore please ensure that you take these into account and plan your visit accordingly.

    Premium Ticket holders: We are pleased to offer you free parking in the car park at Dereham Station (Satnav: NR19 1DF). Please have your email booking confirmation showing you are a Premium ticket holder to hand at the carpark entrance to show to our car park attendants.  On leaving the car park after your ride, please note that it is No Right Turn – please turn left, and at the mini-roundabout, turn left again and follow the signs for Norwich and King’s Lynn or turn right and go through the town centre for destinations to the north of Dereham.

    For your information, all the cookies we provide on the train are suitable for vegetarians and are nut-free, please be aware they are produced in a bakery which also handles nuts. We use Cadbury’s Hot Chocolate, a few alternatives for those with allergies will be available on board. If you are unsure, you are welcome to bring your own substitutes.

    Please have your booking confirmation email available to check-in (either printed or on a mobile device).

  • 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 90 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 choosing to not attend the event. We would strongly recommend that guests consider making their own insurance arrangements to cover such eventualities.

     

  • 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 on polarexpress@mnr.org.uk or by clicking here.

  • Customer Services/Support

    How do I contact customer & support 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 7 working days, not including bank holidays (this is subject to change).

    Please note that we do not offer any kind of telephone support, all enquiries must go via the email address.

  • 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.midnorfolkrailway.co.uk

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