North Pole Express

Home|North Pole Express
North Pole Express2020-11-25T09:19:16+00:00

Step aboard the North Pole Express at the Tanfield Railway for an unforgettable steam train ride to see Santa Claus in his magical grotto!

Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, this year’s event will be a little different to previous years, however, there’ll still be the same festive cheer and welcoming smiles from our Tanfield volunteers… and Santa Claus is looking forward to seeing everyone in his grotto at the North Pole.

Tanfield Railway North Pole Express

All aboard the North Pole Express! Make sure to collect your North Pole passport when you first arrive which you’ll get stamped when you see Santa Claus. Seasonal refreshments (included in your ticket) for all of the family are served in our cosy Mrs Claus’ Tea Rooms at the North Pole. Children will receive a gift from Santa Claus in his specially built grotto and Santa’s elves will be delivering North Pole Express bells for those children who believe for their Christmas tree at home! On the subject of elves… make sure to keep an eye out for Santa’s elves around the railway. Can you count them all?

Pre-booking is essential as North Pole Express tickets are not available on the day. 

Trains for the North Pole leave from East Tanfield station (postcode DH9 9UY), which is signposted from the A6076 Sunniside to Stanley Road.


  • Saturday 12th December 2020
  • Sunday 13th December 2020
  • Saturday 19th December 2020
  • Sunday 20th December 2020
  • Monday 21st December 2020
  • Tuesday 22nd December 2020
  • Wednesday 23rd December 2020
  • Thursday 24th December 2020


  • 10.10am (returns 11.40am)
  • 11.20am (returns 12.50pm)
  • 12.30pm (returns 2pm)
  • 1.40pm (returns 3.10pm)
  • 2.50pm (returns 4.20pm)
  • 4pm (returns 5.30pm)
  • 5.10pm (returns 6.40pm)


Tickets cost £70 per compartment (for 4 people per compartment, from the same household/support bubble).  An additional 2 people can be booked from the same household/support bubble for £16 per person.

Wheelchair passengers:

We have one wheelchair-accessible compartment on the 11.20am, 1.40pm and 4pm trains. This will need to be prebooked in advance.

Included in ticket:

  • Free car parking.
  • Children receive a North Pole Express passport.
  • Steam train journey from East Tanfield to the North Pole and return.
  • Meet Santa Claus in his specially built Grotto at the North Pole – children receive a gift.
  • Complimentary refreshments for all the family at the North Pole.
  • A North Pole Express bell for every child for their Christmas tree at home.
  • A photo opportunity with Santa Claus.
  • A photo opportunity in Santa’s sleigh.
  • A photo opportunity beside the North Pole Express steam engine.


We are unable to take phone bookings.

Limited Tickets here

COVID-19 Secure safety measures

We’re proud to have been granted the Visit England ‘We’re Good to Go’ Industry Standard mark, demonstrating that we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, have risk assessments in place, and a process to maintain cleanliness and social distancing.

Click here for more information about our COVID-19 Secure safety measures.


Does my baby count towards compartment capacity?2020-11-11T19:31:59+00:00

Under 1s do not count towards the maximum capacity in a compartment.

What is your refund policy?2020-11-11T19:31:41+00:00

In the event we are unable to operate a train journey we will provide a full refund.

We reserve the right to suspend, reschedule or cancel services if operational circumstances or safety make this necessary.

You may cancel a ticket prior to travel subject to the following charges:

  • Over 14 days prior visit (100% refund via Cash/Card or Gift Voucher).
  • 0 – 14 days prior visit (100% refund via Gift Voucher).

Our full refund policy can be seen here