Event Information

The 17th Annual ICS North Pole Express will leave Newburyport Train Station for the North Pole on Saturday, December 2nd. The 70-minute round trip adventure includes cocoa and treats, and visits from musicians, Christmas characters, Santa and his elves. Local storytellers will read “The Night Before Christmas” and each child will be presented with a silver bell.

Come in your pajamas or as you are. It is truly a magical experience for children and parents alike. Remember to bring your camera!

  • Event Boarding & Location: Please plan to arrive at the Newburyport Train Station 30-45 minutes before your scheduled departure. This will allow enough time to enjoy the Polar Village, have your tickets scanned and receive wristbands for boarding, find your seats on board the train, and settle in without stress. Your departure time is on your ticket.
  • Parking: The cost of parking is included in your ticket price this year. There is plenty of parking available at the train station. Passengers may park in the parking lots on either side of the station, although direct access to the train will only be available from the Polar Village (the station off Boston Way – see map). Passengers who park in the Route 1 parking lot may cross the railway tracks to get to the Polar Village.
  • Seating: Seats are not assigned and no seats will be reserved. There are roughly 100 riders per car. If you wish to sit with a large group, simply plan to meet in a particular car. Each passenger car will be numbered (1-7) and named for one of the reindeer – Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, and Blitzen.
  • Attire: Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Do not forget your camera!
  • Restrooms: There are restroom facilities at the station but only one restroom on the train. Please plan accordingly!
  • Format: Each train car will have its own reader, conductor, and snack service. Santa will visit each train car after we reach the North Pole.

Event Protocol

  • Tickets are purchased online and will be processed immediately. Ticket orders will be filled in the order they are received until they are sold out.
  • Due to the enormous efforts required to put on this event (over 7,000 volunteer hours), the North Pole Express will run rain, snow or shine. No refunds will be made if you miss your train.
  • The entire event takes place on the train. No one will be allowed to leave the train when it stops for turn-around at the North Pole.
  • No strollers or car seats will be allowed on the train. No equipment will be permitted in the aisles of the train. All bags must be stored overhead.
  • All rides are sold out and seat are occupied. Please bring as little on board as possible.
  • Children age one and older MUST have a ticket. Infants under the age of one MUST sit on an adult's lap.

Event History

This year marks the sixteenth time that ICS has created this experience right in Newburyport! The event has become more popular with every passing year. In total, over 63,000 people have ridden the trains over the past several years in what has become the premier Christmastime event on the North Shore. This year, over 3,700 people will ride the rails on our magical journey to the North Pole.

Immaculate Conception School

Our school, in downtown Newburyport, MA, has been providing a quality education to children from the North Shore since 1882. The school is open to all students and focuses on a structured educational curriculum emphasizing good Christian values.

ICS North Pole Express by the Numbers

  • 7,000 Volunteer man hours are required to create the ICS North Pole Express Event
  • 3,700+ People will ride the train this year
  • 2,148 miles from Newburyport to the North Pole
  • 350 Volunteer positions are filled on event day
  • 200 Gallons of Cocoa will be prepared
  • 105 Food Servers will serve delicious cocoa and brownies
  • 35 Readers and 35 conductors will work the rides
  • 7 Train Cars will run the route
  • 3 Feet of snow fell during the 2003 ICS North Pole Express
The ICS North Pole Express is our school’s largest fundraiser.
100% of the net proceeds go directly towards funding the operating expenses of the school.
We appreciate your support!