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

There will be 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. 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 will be signposted from the A6076 Sunniside to Stanley Road.


Every Saturday & Sunday from 27th November to 19th December 2021

then every day from 21st December to 24th December 2021


10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 13:15pm, 14:00pm, 14:45pm, 15:30pm.



The experience will last approximately 1 hour 50 minutes


  • £16 per person for trips between 27th November & 19th December.
  • £17 per person from 21st to 24th December.
  • plus a £2 booking fee

Wheelchair passengers:

We have one wheelchair-accessible compartment on each train. 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 photo opportunity with Santa Claus.
  • A photo opportunity in Santa’s sleigh.
  • A photo opportunity beside the North Pole Express steam engine.


Sorry North Pole Express tickets are sold out.

Sorry we are unable to take phone bookings

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.


Santa is looking forward to meeting you.