The Polar Express: All Aboard for the North Pole! (2024)

The Polar Express: All Aboard for the North Pole! (1)

As a child, The Polar Express was one of my favorite movies to watch. The film, based off the children's book of the same name by author Chris Van Allsburg, revolves around a young boy, who's been having doubts about the existence of Santa, boarding a magical steam train to the North Pole. Through his journey, the boy is able to learn to believe again, finally able to hear those sleigh bells ring. The film means a lot to me personally, as I grew up watching it on repeat. Now, this is definitely not the first time I've tried to bring my favorite fictional train to life in LEGO Ideas form. However, the 2 recent projects that hit 10k have ultimately failed, so I felt it was finally time to revisit my take, and so, without further ado, I present to you my take, on the Polar Express.

This version of The Polar Express set was meant to balance a few notable aspects. I wanted it to appeal to a wide range of demographics, from those looking just to buy a LEGO train set for their kids to build, to the hardcore collectors looking for a train to display. As evident by the model I've made, my version of the Polar is definitely not the most detailed LEGO train ever made. Instead, this version is more akin to the sets found in the LEGO City line in terms of the level of detail, but built to 8-studs wide to match the scale many AFOL's use. Now, digging into the train itself, the train is made up of 4 main components:

  • The 2-8-4 Berkshire Steam Locomotive
  • Tender (With Powered Up Components)
  • Passenger Car
  • Observation Car

The choice to make the train only 2 cars long was an intentional choice, again to keep the cost of production down, but the train does have a few tricks up its sleeve. To begin with, The train is indeed fitted with the Powered Up system, mostly stored in the tender, with one exception. A set of PUP lights (Component No. 88005) are strung through the cab to the front of the engine, allowing it to illuminate the line ahead as it makes it's imaginary journey to the North Pole. Despite the locomotive's somewhat bare-bones appearance, it's overall design matches the locomotive seen in the film quite well, and even includes a modestly detailed back-head interior for added realism.

The Polar Express: All Aboard for the North Pole! (2)

The coaches were modeled as closely as possible to the film, in which I used several references to nail the look of the coaches. The observation car in particular was arguably the most difficult to pull off, in no small part due to it's round observation platform, but the resulting appearance was well worth it. One notable feature is the Disappearing Hobo and his camp. Using removable, interchangeable panels on the top of the roof, you can choose to make the Hobo "appear" or "disappear". Either way, he's perfectly happy to offer you a cup of Joe to help keep your warm on those cold, winter nights.

I also decided to include a display stand, which features a plaque similar in vein to the ones seen in both the Crocodile Locomotive and Hogwarts Express set, detailing information about the train to any potential onlooker. It is better than listening to that one kid tell you it's a "Baldwin 2-8-4 S-3 Class Berkshire type steam locomotive." Luckily, this train isn't locked to being a display piece only, as it fits on standard LEGO track, meaning this model is perfect for either display, or play.

Finally, the set comes with a measly 6 minifigures. Ultimately, I wanted to limit the amount of minifigures to only the vital characters to the Polar Express story, which are the 4 main kids, and the 2 main adult characters. (barring Santa & his elves.) Each minifigure comes with an accessory, tying into their character:

  • Hero Boy with the Silver Bell
  • Hero Girl with the Ticket
  • Know-it-All with the Hot Chocolate Mug
  • Billy with his present
  • The Conductor With His Lantern
  • The Hobo and a Mug of Joe.

I realize the Know-it-all's a bit of a stretch, but he did comment "You know, Montezuma, the King of the Aztecs, drank 50 quarts of hot chocolate every day." Plus, I had to have at least one Hot Cocoa mug, so it all works out.

So, in summary, the set comes with all of this:

  • Locomotive & Tender with PUP
  • Passenger Car & Observation Car
  • Buildable Display Stand for the Train
  • 6 Minifigures

Ultimately, it was my goal with this version of the Polar Express to appeal to as wide of a demographic as possible, and I think my efforts have succeeded. So, are you coming? Where, you might ask? Why to the North Pole of course! This is the Polar Express!

The Polar Express: All Aboard for the North Pole! (3)

The Polar Express: All Aboard for the North Pole! (2024)


Is The Polar Express 2 coming out? ›

Producer Gary Goetzman confirmed that Warner Bros. is planning a sequel, but it is still in early development stages. When will The Polar Express 2 be released? There is no expected release date. The film is in early development, and animation takes time, so it may be released around 2027 or 2028.

Does The Polar Express actually go to the North Pole? ›

Once on board the train, you will travel to the North Pole while we read the story of The Polar Express. You will enjoy hot chocolate and a yummy treat delivered by our onboard chefs. As the train passes the North Pole, you will catch a glimpse of Santa and his elves while the train readies for the return trip.

How much are tickets on The Polar Express? ›

TICKETS: £43.95 TO £57.95

If you call and book accessible tickets, you will be seated in the Premium Class section of THE POLAR EXPRESS ™, which will feature all the usual Premium Class benefits. The coach which is accessible has a widened doorway, and is accessed via a ramp for wheelchairs.

How long is the North Pole Express train ride? ›

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa.

Why does Tom Hanks play everyone in Polar Express? ›

Hanks plays five roles in the film including that of a small child (whose voice would later be dubbed in by Daryl Sabara). Initially Zemeckis considered having him play every role, but after trying this, Hanks grew exhausted, and they whittled down the number.

Is the Hobo in Polar Express dead? ›

5 The Hobo is A Ghost Killed By Flat-Top Tunnel

The Hobo is perhaps the most interesting character aboard the Polar Express, the self-proclaimed king of the North Pole. He's fun, but also mysterious and cryptic in his ways.

Is Polar Express worth it? ›

Overall, this experience met our expectations, and honestly some of the negative reviews here feel a little harsh. Yes, the stewards and actors on the train are young and not polished actors, but they seemed to genuinely care and tried their best. Our six year old absolutely loved it and that is all we were hoping for.

Is Polar Express better at night or day? ›

Consider what time of day you travel. Younger kids may do better on earlier trains, but the last train ride of the evening is arguably the most atmospheric when it's darker outside, the train cars seem cozier, and you can see the holiday lights better.

Do you get off the train on The Polar Express? ›

You are on board the train for approximately 1 hour. Once your experience is over you can spend as much time in our gift shop as you wish but we tend to find guests spend around 15min – 30min here before you head back on the shuttle to the car park. Therefore we find guests are with us around 1:30-2 hours.

What is included in The Polar Express train ride? ›

Passengers enjoy a reading of the book by Chris Van Allsburg and receive the First Gift of Christmas (a silver sleigh bell) after Santa boards the train to greet families. Attendants lead passengers in caroling and fun holiday activities on the return trip.

Where's the best place to sit on The Polar Express? ›

It doesn't really matter what side of the train you sit in (or what train car you ride in) because it's dark and there isn't much to see during the ride, however, at one point during your ride at the end you will be asked to go to one side of the train to see “The North Pole” for an outside show!

Do you meet Santa on The Polar Express? ›

You will get to meet the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. Join families, couples and just those big kids who believe in our magical train ride.

Does the movie Polar have a part 2? ›

In May 2022, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Åkerlund will direct another film adaptation with the title of The Black Kaiser. This film will be a new take of the comics and will be neither be "a sequel or a prequel".

Is there more than one Polar Express movie? ›

Despite The Polar Express being a classic Christmas film, the planned sequel will have to get creative as it can't rely on the original movie's greatest strength. With The Polar Express 2 officially in development, the sequel will no longer be able to use the same qualities of 20 years ago to find success.

Is the ghost in Polar Express Tom Hanks? ›

4 The Hobo

The movie later reveals Hanks' Hobo is a ghost, and only Hero Boy can actually see him. A deleted scene revealed the character's backstory too, explaining he was killed while riding atop the Polar Express years before and now reappears every Christmas.

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