Holiday-Themed Train Rides in Colorado

There’s a certain romance about trains. They harken back to an age when people weren’t always in a rush. A time when travel was part of the adventure and not just the means to an end.

Christmas trains have become increasingly popular in Colorado, and it seems every scenic railroad has added a holiday event to their calendar. Many are aimed at children, but some are for adults, too.

The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been running The Polar Express Train™ for a number of years now. The Polar Express is a book by Chris Van Allsburg that became a hit movie in 2003. It is the story of a child’s Christmas adventure aboard The Polar Express train to the North Pole. Aboard the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, your children can have this magical polar express experience first-hand.

The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden has gotten in on The Polar Express craze, and this year’s dates are virtually sold out, with only a few remaining single tickets left. Tickets for the 2016 train go on sale next August.

The Georgetown Loop Railroad has two holiday train excursions: Santa’s North Pole Adventure Train and Santa’s Lighted Forest Train. Aboard Santa’s North Pole Adventure, children will be delighted to be riding the train with St. Nicholas himself. The Lighted Forest outing runs in the evenings and transports passengers to a magical forest with a light and holiday music spectacular in the forest high above the charming town of Georgetown.

Looking for a more adult holiday train getaway? Look no further than the Royal Gorge Railroad’s Holiday Lunch Train. Passengers aboard this popular route will enjoy views of one of Colorado’s most spectacular canyons while dining on locally sourced foods. Guests can order a hot toddy before venturing out onto the outdoor car for unparalleled canyon views.

Colorado’s most authentic scenic train is getting into the holiday spirit this year with free rides. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad that runs between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico, is running their train to benefit local charities. Passengers are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or toy to donate in return for their ride.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Holiday Trains pull out of Antonito on December 5 and 6 and out of Chama on December 12 and 13. Learn more here.

For a list of all of Colorado’s scenic trains visit

Categories: The Heidi Guide