Posts Tagged ‘cvsr polar express’

CVSR Polar Express Tickets to go on Sale to the Public on Wednesday Morning

October 12, 2020

The public sale of tickets for the 2020 Polar Express excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad go on sale at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

The excursions, which are based on the children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, will be operating on the CVSR for the 27th year.

Sellouts are the norm and this year’s ticket available will be limited due to COVID-19 pandemic safety measures restricting trains to 50 percent of capacity.

The 90-minute excursions will run Nov. 6 through Dec. 20 with departures from Akron at 7 p.m. and Independence at 7:30 p.m.

Polar Express trains will not operate on Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day) or Nov. 25-26 (Thanksgiving holiday period).

Tickets are $47 per person for Monday through Thursday trains and $49 per person for trains running Friday through Sunday.

Children ages 1 and younger do not need a ticket but must be seated on a parent or guardian’s lap for the duration of the trip.

Passengers will take a journey to the “North Pole” in Peninsula where elves, holiday decorations and Santa Claus will be waiting.

Santa will board the train there and greet passengers and pose for photographs.

During the trip to the North Pole the Polar Express tale will be read aloud. There will also be Christmas caroling and families are encouraged to wear their pajamas aboard the train.

All passengers will receive a hot chocolate packet and a cookie. Children will receive a silver bell and a brief visit with Santa.

Tickets must be purchased in blocks of four in facing coach seats. Limited blocks of six tickets are available for table car seating.

All tickets must be purchased online. Further information and links to the ticket sale pages are available at

Norton Group Thinks CVSR is a Grinch

August 28, 2018

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has taken a page from the Amtrak playbook or so it must seem to some members of the Norton City School’s Foundation.

As recounted in Bob Dyer’s column last Sunday in the Akron Beacon Journal, the group will not be selling Polar Express tickets this year as a fundraising effort to raise money for college scholarships awarded to graduating seniors.

For several years, the CVSR has offered early Polar Express ticket sales to non-profit organizations such as the Norton group at a slight discount from what the same seat would cost when sold to the public.

The groups were allowed to purchase all of the tickets in a passenger car. The Norton group, though, took it a step further by re-selling those tickets for $5 per ticket above the price it paid.

The Norton group’s gripe is that the price of the tickets has sharply risen over the years.

The newspaper reported that in 2011, a car cost $2,850, or about $36 per seat. Five years later, that price had grown to $3,600, or $45 per seat, an increase of 26.3 percent.

Last year it was $3,760, or $47 per seat but this year the CVSR charged $4,560, or $57 per seat.

CVSR President Joe Mazur acknowledged to the Beacon Journal that he was hesitant to approve the increased fares for non-profit groups for fear of a backlash. But he said the Norton group was the only one that complained.

Mazur also noted that the condition of sale prohibits re-selling the tickets, something he said hasn’t been strictly enforced. The railroad is aware that multiple groups have resold their tickets.

As Mazur sees it, non-profit groups already benefit by having access to Polar Express tickets before the public and CVSR members do.

“We don’t have enough tickets left over after charters and [CVSR] members [buy tickets] for the general public,” he said. “So what we were trying to do is mainly get more tickets available for the general public.”

Mazur said charter groups should pay more because they are getting preferential treatment in ticket availability.

For many years most Polar Express trips have sold out shortly after tickets went on sale to the public.

More than 40,000 ride the Polar Express trains during the month that it operates during the Christmas season.

The Norton group has purchased three cars on a Polar Express train in recent years. Last year it raised $1,200 for scholarships.

Linda Kloetzer of the Norton group said her organization decided it didn’t want to charge people more than $60 per ticket. That would cost a family of four at least $240 for a two-hour train ride.

The Polar Express is oriented toward children and features Santa Claus, elves, a reading from the book of the same name, and cookies and hot chocolate. The children also receive a silver bell as a gift and view a holiday lights display at the “north pole,” a.k.a. the Peninsula CVSR station.

Dyer’s column did not say how the Norton group will be raising money for scholarships this year. But Mazur could identify with the need for fundraising to meet expenses.

“We’re a 501(c)3,” he said. “We’re the nonprofit. We’re the one trying to raise money so we can keep a historic train running. This year I’m going to spend a million dollars just in renovations for the cars.”

CVSR Polar Express Tickets Go on Sale Thursday

September 29, 2015

Tickets go on sale on Thursday for the 2015 Polar Express trains of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The annual Christmas season specials will operate between Nov. 13 and Dec. 20.

The fares will be $45 for standard coach, $65 for seating in a dining car and $85 for seating in the Saint Lucie Sound observation-lounge car.

Patrons purchasing tickets for the latter two classes will receive a commemorative Polar Express Mug. Saint Lucie Sound tickets are available only for trains leaving from Rockside Station.

All ticket sales will be conducted online and patrons may purchase up 10 tickets at a time. There is no assigned seating.

To order tickets, visit and visit the Polar Express page.

CVSR Seeking Polar Express Volunteers

September 24, 2014

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad needs a few good elves. It also wouldn’t mind have Santa Claus come out to help, too.

The railroad is seeking volunteers to work aboard the 2014 Polar Express trains that will operate between Nov. 14 and Dec. 21.

Volunteer elves are needed to serve as readers, servers, and assistants on board the train, as well as Santa’s helpers at the North Pole. Volunteers are also needed to play Santa.

Volunteers will be asked to commit to at least four nights on the train; North Pole elves are asked to commit to at least six evenings.

Those under age 16 must volunteer with an adult. Those under age 14 may only volunteer at the North Pole. Volunteer groups are welcome and training will be provided.

Those interested may complete an online application at Information is also available at the Polar Express Hotline at 800- 468-4070 x 236.

This Polar Express theme is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s book The Polar Express, about young boy’s trip to the North Pole.

Children clad in pajamas board CVSR trains in either Akron or Independence and travel through Cuyahoga Valley National Park to hear the story of the Polar Express, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and sing carols. The North Pole is a decorated Peninsula station.

Tickets for the 2014 Polar Express trains will go on sale on Oct. 1 at the CVSR website. For ticket information visit





Santa Trains II — Daylight Polar Express

December 18, 2012

LTEX 2436 at Peninsula . . . I mean the North Pole.

LTEX 2436 at Peninsula . . . I mean the North Pole.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, I checked out the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s daylight Polar Express runs. The Polars are generally run in the evenings, but on the weekend before Christmas they operate a pair in daylight.

With the Alco/MLW units just not being as dependable as they once were, the CVSR leased a couple of units from LTEX.

Former Santa Fe GP30u No. 2436 was on the south end of the Akron section with FPA4 No. 6771 on the north end.

Former Norfolk Southern GP15 No. 1420 was on the south end of the Cleveland section with one of the RDCs on the north end resulting in a “push mode” operation on the trip from Peninsula to Rockside.

The Akron train stopped at the North Pole (a.k.a. Peninsula) first with the section out of Rockside doing its stop after the Akron train cleared. For about a half-hour Peninsula was a busy place! It was mostly overcast, but I did get a peek of the sun in Peninsula.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

A multitude of elves entertain the children on the train during the station stop.

A multitude of elves entertain the children on the train during the station stop.

Santa’s sleigh has steam power to take him to the train.

Santa’s sleigh has steam power to take him to the train.

The Cleveland section arriving at the North Pole.

The Cleveland section arriving at the North Pole.

I followed the train back to Akron for a bit, shown here passing MP 43.

I followed the train back to Akron for a bit, shown here passing MP 43.