North Pole Flyer
*The event has already taken place on this date: Sun, 11/29/2020
Please help us keep this calendar up to date! If this activity is sold out, canceled, or otherwise needs alteration, email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update it immediately.
While passengers may choose their train car, seats will be assigned by our team to ensure physical distancing. Private compartments are available for booking, but please note that those private rooms will not be able to experience the Storytime activity happening in the main lounge. Masks are required. Due to the unique nature of our non-profit railroad and this special event — there are no refunds. We are not able to reschedule your tickets if you miss the train for any reason. All cars are pulled by a diesel locomotive. Please read our Terms and Conditions prior to purchasing here: https://www.austinsteamtrain.org/make-reservations/termsconditions/ .
Questions about Covid-19 precautions? Check out our Health and Safety Plan for the latest.
All North Pole Flyer rides depart from our Bertram Depot. Click here for address and directions. There are no departures from Cedar Park for the North Pole Flyer.
Ready to learn more about the 2020 Event? Jump to the North Pole Flyer FAQ Below.
Have questions? Give us a call at 512-402-3830. The Call Center is available to take your call Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday from 8am-7pm and Sunday from 11am-7pm. The Call Center is closed all federal holidays.
NORTH POLE FLYER FAQS
Each year we look forward to the return of the North Pole Flyer train ride! We hope these FAQs will help you as you plan to join us in 2020!
In this unique year, this special annual tradition is evolving for the health and safety of our passengers.
- The Locomotive
We are currently under the power of the beautiful #3134! This stunning blue diesel engine made its ASTA debut in 2017, and is featured on the cover of our North Pole Flyer book! As with all our equipment, changes are constantly being made for your enjoyment and safety. A specific engine or style of locomotive power cannot be guaranteed.
- Departure Location and Ride
All North Pole Flyer rides are departing from our historic 1912 Bertram Depot, (170 S. Gabriel St., Bertram, TX 78605) as they were announced and ticketed. We are not able to exchange your tickets or offer you a refund if you miss the train. Please take special care to note your departure location, give yourself extra travel time, and arrive no later than 30-45 minutes prior to your departure. For safety reasons, the doors will close for seating 10 minutes prior to departure. If you miss this 10 minute cutoff, you have missed your train. The ride is 2 hours long, round trip and the the train does not de-board anywhere along the journey. During your ride, the train will make several stops for the Crew to attend to the train. Each stop will vary in length. Your Car Attendant or Crew Chief can answer any questions you have during the ride. Please visit https://www.austinsteamtrain.org/about-asta/directions/ for directions and address.
- Refunds and Exchanges
There are no refunds and no exchanges on the North Pole Flyer. If you are no longer able to attend the date and time your original reservation is made for, we will offer you a gift certificate, mailed in January 2021 that is valid for any ride in 2021 or 2022, with the exception of Day Out With Thomas. We are not able to reschedule you on another North Pole Flyer in 2020. Please visit our Terms and Conditions page for full information.
- Visits with Santa
Santa Claus is on board every North Pole Flyer. He walks through each car, greeting passengers young and old! Every child has an opportunity to see Santa, and receive a special gift from Santa or his elf. Please note that unlike previous years, pictures in Santa’s lap will not be possible due to Covid-19. Santa will travel through each car to say hello and talk briefly with everyone, but visits will be socially distanced and brief. Sitting in a private compartment? Due to physical distancing rules, Santa and other entertainers will come to the door on your compartment, but will not be able to enter. Like in the lounge, they will stop at a careful distance to say hello, and then will move to the next compartment.
- Hot Chocolate
Passengers seated in Lounge Cars or Private Compartments will receive free and unlimited hot chocolate from their volunteer car attendant! Passengers who choose Coach Cars will be able to pick up their hot chocolate prior to boarding, and can get a refill in the Cedar Park Concession Car during their appointed time. Unlike previous years, due to Covid-19, there will not be unlimited hot chocolate service in the Coach Cars. Your Car Attendant will let you know when it is time to get your refill in the Cedar Park Concession Car! Lounge seating is $5 more than Coach seating.
- The Story- For Lounge and Coach Passengers
While under way a Story Teller Elf will come to your car to read the story of the North Pole Flyer. This gives all of our passengers a chance to sit with their family and friends and listen or read along together. Copies of the North Pole Flyer book are available for $10. These may be purchased when you purchase your tickets or at the Bertram Depot when you pick up your tickets. During some departures books may be available to purchase on board the train in the Cedar Park Concession Car.
- The Story- For Private Compartment Passengers
Due to Covid-19, we must manage the amount of people congregating in our train cars. This means if you have a seat in a Private Compartment, we ask that you stay in that space unless you are visiting the Cedar Park Concession Car or the restroom. Gathering in the main lounge area or the hallways cannot be allowed under any circumstances. Private Compartment passengers will not be able to participate in activities happening in the main lounge area, including the reading of the North Pole Flyer story. This was noted when you purchased your ticket. Those in Private Compartments are encouraged to read the North Pole Flyer book as a family to enhance your visit. Copies of the North Pole Flyer book are available for $10. These may be purchased when you purchase your tickets or at the Bertram Depot when you pick up your tickets. During some departures books may be available to purchase on board the train in the Cedar Park Concession Car.
- Other Entertainment
Plans for Mrs. Claus and her cookies are still underway, and we should have more information soon! Coloring sheets and crayons will also be provided. Sorry, due to Covid-19 the balloon twisters will not be joining us for 2020.
- Walking through the train
Due to the flurry of activity on board the train, passengers will need to remain in their seats and/or compartment unless they are using the restroom or visiting the Cedar Park Concession Car. Your Car Attendant will let you know when it is time!
Please carefully read our Terms and Conditions prior to purchasing your tickets – as many have changed. All passengers ages 3 and up need a ticket to ride the train. Adult and Child tickets are the same price, with the exception of adults who will be bringing a lap rider with them. Those tickets are $5 more. The lap rider doesn’t get their own seat and must remain on the lap of an adult. Private Compartment seats are also available — with restrictions. Due to Covid-19, tickets are sold as general admission. Once you choose your class of service, or car, our team will assign your seats to assure physical distancing. Sorry, we are not able to accommodate requests for specific seats or compartments.
- The Cars
All cars are all ages for the North Pole Flyer! There are 3 classes of service available – Coach (New Braunfels, Buckeye Trail, Buckeye Lake and Silver Pine), Lounge (Maurice Beckham, Rippling Stream, Nambe) and Private Compartments (please see below). Not every car will be available at each departure. Each car is climate controlled and has its own bathroom, except for the Maurice Beckham which is currently being restored. Coach cars have coach-style seating like a bus or an airplane. Lounge cars are more like restaurants and may have tables and chairs, tables and booth seating, or lounge chairs with a tray table. With our vintage equipment, some restrooms may be unavailable during certain stretches of the trip. Please ask your Car Attendant if you need restroom assistance. Sorry, we are not able to accommodate requests for specific seats or compartments. Due to the flurry of activity on board the train, passengers will need to remain in their seats and/or compartment unless they are using the restroom or visiting the Cedar Park Concession Car. Your Car Attendant will let you know when it is time!
- Private Compartments
We offer Private Compartment seating for the North Pole Flyer. These unique spaces were previously used as sleeper stalls or even barber shops, and have now been reconfigured for your comfort! Purchasing these seats confirms that you and your group of 12 or less will be in a private space. Compartments come in many shapes and sizes, some with permanent walls, and some with removable partitions. Windows in compartments are typically on one side of the room only, with doors on the other side that open and close for privacy. Other variance between compartments may include size of window(s), type of furniture, train car, location and number of doors, amount and style of decoration, and level of entertainment. We will seat you in the compartment that is best for the number of people in your party. We cannot guarantee a specific compartment or car. Also, if seats are added or subtracted to your party after your initial reservation, we will do the best we can to accommodate you in another compartment, but we cannot guarantee your reservation. We will contact you in the case that this happens to find alternative seating–if it is still available! Please note that Due to Covid-19, we must manage the amount of people congregating in our train cars. This means if you have a seat in a Private Compartment, we ask that you stay in that space unless you are visiting the Cedar Park Concession Car or the restroom. Gathering in the main lounge area or the hallways cannot be allowed under any circumstances. This means that Private Compartment passengers will not be able to participate in activities happening in the main lounge area, including the reading of the North Pole Flyer story and caroling. Finally, due to physical distancing rules, Santa and other entertainers will come to the door on your compartment, but will not be able to enter. Visits will be short and socially distanced.
- What We Do Not Offer
While we provide a step back in time, and some Christmas activities on our train ride, we can’t give you nonstop “entertainment.” Nor do we want to! We want there to be times during the ride when you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy conversation with your family and friends! You are welcome to bring playing cards, books, or games on board with you. We have some for sale in the Cedar Park Concession Car during the ride. And yes, even electronic devices are welcome, although we ask that you use earphones with those. We also can’t offer you a “trail of lights” exhibit along the way. Much of our route is rural, so it is up to each individual property owner as to what displays they put up. Also, please note that when it is dark outside, you will not be able to see outside of the train car.
- Thank You
When you ride with us, you are helping us maintain a fleet of lovingly restored passenger cars, along with our 1916 SP 786 steam locomotive. Many of these cars would have been turned into scrap if not for our efforts and your support. We want to keep vintage railroading alive in Central Texas for many years to come, and every ticket purchase helps us achieve that goal.
*Times, dates, and prices of any activity posted to our calendars are subject to change. Please be sure to click through directly to the organization’s website to verify.