There are a good handful of “snow trains” to enjoy in Michigan – all are guaranteed to be a good time for everyone in the family.

The one that seems to stand above the crowd is the one that features the cars pulled by the Pere Marquette 1225 steam locomotive. Why? What makes this one so special? How about because it’s the one the movie was based on! Producers of the 2004 film “The Polar Express” took blueprints of the Pere Marquette 1225 and modeled their computer-generated locomotive engine specifically for that movie. The locomotive was built in 1941, weighs 440 tons (880,000 pounds!) stands 16 feet tall, and stretches 101 feet long.

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Fans of the film love taking this trip and imagining they’re actually IN the movie. There might not be any mythical magic, but there is plenty of Christmas magic and fantasy. It goes by the name “North Pole Express” (probably for copyright reasons?) and brought to you courtesy of the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, 405 S. Washington Street.

It’s a four hour trip and you’ll be kept too busy to notice how fast the time goes by!
1) Enjoy hot chocolate while traveling through the snow-covered countryside
2) Stop in the town of Ashley and enjoy their Country Christmas Festival, including:
   a) arts & crafts
   b) carriage rides
   c) food
   d) Santa Claus
As with just about anything these days, it’s good to check and make sure these events are still happening. Check for train info at and keep your fingers crossed!

Other great Michigan train tours include:
Coopersville & Marne Railway
Huckleberry Railroad
Old Road Railroad
Southern Michigan Railroad
Tahquamenon Wilderness Train Ride

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