The North Pole Flyer Train Returns Bringing the Train’s Own Christmas Story to Young and Old Alike!
I decided to re-visit a VERY SPECIAL post that I wrote on the North Pole Flyer train tickets that my family and I do every year. In fact, I did a GUEST POST review on a fellow friend blogger, Momma Micki’s blog (See more at: http://www.mommamicki.com/2012/12/christmas-at-north-pole-flyer-2012-at.html#sthash.wRvtWtdG.dpuf) and I CAN’T WAIT to go again this year, esp with our baby Brie. I decided to re-post to:
- Give Austinites and those in the local commuting area a chance to PURCHASE train tickets before they sell out
- I like writing about trains and this post will tell you a little more about WHY
Here we go and ENJOY!
The North Pole Flyer train is back again for the month of (LATE) November and December for the Austin-area’s own train Christmas Story for the whole family to enjoy. If you are familiar with my blog, you know our family is a little obsessive about trains and Christmas. Trains hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of my dad’s father who spent his entire career (besides a stint of being drafted in the Army) working on the railroad. He started working for the B&O Railroad (the first passenger hauling railroad in the United States) out of the Newark, Ohio, division in 1950 and retired there in 1989. I have lots of train products and for our eight year wedding anniversary last year, Bob and I spent part of the day going to Cedar Park, TX (1/2 hour from our home) for an anniversary date on the Bertam Flyer passenger train. The fun thing about the Bertram Flyer train (the same one used for the North Pole Flyer) is that each passenger car is from a different era with its own history. I’m adding some info at the end about the Santa Fe car. It was a treat! We got some amazing seats in the Santa Fe car and from start to finish you got a ‘feel’ for how those passenger trains really worked. It is also an operation of love since most of the players at the Austin Steam Train association are volunteers, so their passion for trains is quite sincere and there are special events throughout the year like the Mystery Theater and the Christmas North Pole Flyer are not only a huge hit in the area, they are also a whole lot of fun for the whole family – and a way to meet both Mr. and Mrs. Claus! We decided since this is Brooke’s first real excitement for Santa and Christmas, this year would be the perfect time to take our preschooler to the North Pole Flyer and see what happens.
Christmas at the North Pole Flyer is through the Austin Steam Train Association which is a mostly volunteer organization from people who LOVE trains. Their Christmas Flyer has been a popular staple outside of Austin in Cedar Park for several years and there are many reasons why. First, your child gets to see both Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus on board the train! That’s exciting enough for a little child who just started to appreciate Christmas so meeting the Claus family was quite the event. Plus each child has an opportunity for snacks (including cookies from Mrs. Claus), a special holiday story time and a special gift (Brooke got a neat train whistle from Santa) which is a wonderful way for kids to remember this special ride. The ride is approximately two hours and is non-stop (yes, there are bathrooms although slightly crowded for any diaper-changing parents) train that boards and de-boards at the same ‘train station’ location in Cedar Park. Be sure to show up at least a half hour early and there is a few shops and restaurants (including a nice diner) right in the train station area. I did get a tip that a past rider said the trip went over the two hour mark, so pack some extra toys if you have real little ones. The older ones should stay pretty entertained. Oh, and there is a (small) gift shop (yes, it does take cards!), a giveaway and they honestly take your ticket and stamp it. Heaven. We all wore comfortable clothes (Brooke had on her reindeer jammies) and had an awesome time. Highly recommended although it was a special treat since it is a little on the expensive side. We had a blast with lots of great memories, which is what counts to us.
2014 North Pole Flyer Prices (Note: Child is Age 2+):
Adult Child Senior
Excursion Coach $32 $32 $32
First Class Coach $37 $37 $37
First Class Lounge $42 $42 $42
Note: For Adults with Children under 3, there is a five dollar cost that is added to the adult ticket.
Austin Steam Train Association Information:
401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Suite A-103, Cedar Park, TX, 78613
Tip! If you want to purchase your own compartment (for a more expensive price) or have any special requests, please call their Austin Steam Train office to reserve!
PURCHASE BEFORE THEY SELL OUT! Tickets for the Christmas Train GO FAST (usually in October), so remember you have to get your tickets early!
About the Santa Fe Car (just one of the passenger cars on the Betram Flyer):
This car originally housed a barbershop, shower, passenger lounge and crew dormitory on the Santa Fe’s famous Super Chief train, which operated between Chicago and Los Angeles. It was built by Pullman-Standard in November 1950 as one of six identical cars. The 1343 later became part of Amtrak’s fleet during the 1970s, and was purchased by Charles and Lowell Turner in 1982. Today the car contains a popular party room for up to 10 passengers, a kitchen and lounge area for passenger seating. The car is fully climate controlled.
List Price: $ Varies (See website)