Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the event?
Dec. 4-23 various times

What are the departure times of the event?
1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm Note, not all dates have all departure times. Please check the calendar on the Buy Tickets page for departure times for each day.

What is at the depot?
The Train to Christmas Town depot includes a parking area, a ticket office, gift shop, restrooms, and a boarding area.

What food and beverages will be available?
On board the Train to Christmas Town, elves will serve cocoa and cookies to all passengers.

Are there souvenirs and gifts?
A Train to Christmas Town Gift Shop loaded with ornaments, toys, t-shirts, and souvenirs will be open for business during the event. It is located at the Train Depot. Make sure to stop by and shop for holiday gifts and memorabilia from your ride aboard The Train to Christmas Town.

What happens on the train ride?
On board, the passenger cars are festively decorated for the holidays. The Conductor will welcome everyone aboard and punch each passenger’s train ticket. End route to Christmas Town the book, The Train to Christmas Town, will be read and music from the Train to Christmas Town CD from the Grammy-nominated performers Trout Fishing in America will be played. Passengers are served hot chocolate and cookies by our merry elves. Upon arrival at Christmas Town, Santa Claus, and elves are visible waving to the train as passengers watch but do not leave the train at this portion of the trip. Santa Claus and elves then board the train to the delight of all the children! Elves and characters from the book such as Bumblebee the cuddly polar bear will be in each train car and will entertain passengers and lead them in singing Christmas carols. Santa Claus and the Elves move through each train car will greet each child, giving them their surprise gift.

How long does the ride last?
The train ride lasts approximately 70 minutes from the time the train departs the station until it returns. Allow extra time for parking, visiting the gift shop and enjoying the train station.

Where does the train go?
The train departs from the Depot and travels towards Christmas Town on a round-trip journey. Passengers are inside the train cars for the entire activity.

Where is Christmas Town?
To maintain the holiday magic the location of Christmas Town is not disclosed.

Will everyone in our reservation be seated together?
Yes, as long as your group is all booked in one reservation, you will be assigned seats together.  Depending on the size of your group, your reservation may require more than one section, in which case you will have seats assigned across the aisle or directly behind or forward of your main location.

What are the differences between the classes of service?
The Train to Christmas Town at the Piedmont & Northern Railway offers TWO classes of service for our guests to select seats. All classes are in comfortable, heated cars and include a visit from Santa.

First Class has seating at tables in vintage dining cars. All First Class guests will receive a souvenir Train to Christmas Town mug served with hot cocoa and a cookie. All First Class kids will receive a special gift from Santa.  Note that seating in First Class requires the purchase of an even number of seats.

Standard Class is in traditional railroad seating with rowed seats. All Standard Class guests will receive a cookie and hot cocoa and all Standard Class children will receive a special gift from Santa.

Why do First and Diamond classes require tickets be purchased in pairs?
Passengers in our premium classes of service must purchase tickets in even numbers. This policy is the result of our premium class customers becoming upset that their third or fifth person was being seated with another family. It’s an important issue in First Class since these seats are at tables. By booking your tickets in pairs, this uncomfortable occurrence is avoided and your premium class experience is preserved. For customers who object to this policy, we offer the Standard Class service where this policy is not in effect, and where rowed seating makes it less of an issue. We have learned that more often than not, the family of three or five will enjoy the extra seat for piling coats and bags, or more frequently your fellow riders take advantage of the opportunity to invite a lonely Aunt or their child’s best friend. We understand your concern, we are protecting the overwhelming number of customers who appreciate knowing they will be seated together around the table while they make these precious family memories.

Can the train accommodate wheelchairs?
We have wheelchair lifts and locations for chairs in our Standard Class cars. Please call a representative at 877-421-0008 to book your tickets. Explain your specific needs and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What if my child has food allergies?
We cannot insure that our special cocoa and cookies do not contain ingredients that your family member may be allergic to. Guests are welcome to bring their own snack option for a family member with allergies.

How do buy I tickets?
You can purchase tickets online or with our toll-free number 877-421-0008. Representatives are available 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm EST. Any unsold tickets will be available at the depot on a first come, first served basis. Everyone attending must have a ticket, including children sitting on your lap under the age of two (a ‘babe-in-arms’ ticket can be obtained from our reservation agent or online.)

Will my tickets be mailed to me?
We do not mail out tickets. All tickets may be picked up at the Will Call table at the Train station the same day of the event.

How much do tickets cost?
Price varies depending on date and class of service. Full price range is $25 – $70 depending.

What are the age classifications for ticketing?
Child: age 2- 12;   Adult: age 13 and up;    Babe in Arms: age under 2, held on adult lap

What should we wear to the event?
Sturdy shoes with closed toes are best for train safety. (No slippers, open-toed shoes, sandals, or flip flops) . You should dress warmly as you will be outdoors during the boarding process.

What should we bring?
This is a memory you’ll want to save so we suggest bringing a camera with a flash. During boarding guests will be outdoors so dress for the weather. Have your reservation number or confirmation email to present to the Will Call Clerk.

What is the address of the event?
The train station is at a new location this year! The new address is 601 Modena Street, Gastonia NC. Map

What are the driving directions?
From I-85 east or west:
Take exit 19 E Ozark Ave/NC HWY 7. Travel west on Hwy 7 toward Gastonia 8/10th of a mile. Turn right to Modena St. Station will be on your left just across the railroad tracks.

What parking is available and what is the cost?
There is ample parking at the depot.  We have a designated area for disabled parking for autos that display the proper badge, please follow parking lot signage. There is no separate charge for parking.

When should we arrive for the event?
Please arrive 45 minutes prior to your trip. This will ensure proper time to find parking, pick up your tickets and visit the Gift Shop.

What is the cancellation policy?
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of this event, there are no refunds or cancellations permitted. Rescheduling is permitted up to four (4) days before departure for a modest $10 rebooking fee. Please be sure that when you make your reservation, you know exactly which date and which departure time you wish to secure. The train runs in rain or snow and weather cancellations are extremely rare. In the event the train is unable to operate you will be notified immediately and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule.

Are there any discounts?
We offer group discounts of 10% for Standard Class only, for groups with a minimum of 25 riders paying with a single method of payment. Please see more Group information below.

Are there any refunds?
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of this train ride there are no refunds or cancellations permitted. Please be sure that when you make your reservation that you know exactly which date and which train time you wish to secure. The train can depart even in rain or snow. In the event the train is unable to operate you will be notified immediately and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule

What if the weather is bad and travel difficult?
Please prepare for winter or holiday road and traffic conditions!  The Piedmont & Northern Railway is not liable for road closures or delays. This event will run no matter the weather.  In the event the train is unable to operate you will be notified immediately and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule.

Are discounts available for groups?
We offer group discounts for Standard Class only for groups with a minimum of 25 riders paying with a single method of payment.

How many people qualify as a “group”?
A group needs to have a minimum of 25 ticketed passengers, babes in arms do not count towards this total. A babe in arms is a child under 2 years of age who sits on an adult’s lap.

Will all members of our group be seated together?
Yes, your group will be assigned an exclusive block of seats together. Tickets will be printed for these seats, but not assigned to individual members of the Group. This allows your group members to determine individually which seats they would like to sit in during the ride. Please advise your group members to arrive early to ensure smooth seating aboard the train.

How do we make reservations for our group?
We have dedicated Representatives to accommodate your special Group needs. Please contact them through the dedicated phone line or email listed below to make your reservation. We cannot currently book your Group’s reservations online. Please speak personally to our group representative to be sure your reservation is given the attention it requires.
Group Reservations:

Will the tickets be mailed to us?
We do not mail out tickets. All tickets should be picked up at the Will Call table at the Train Station the same day of the event. Group tickets will be bundled together for the group leader to pass out and assign the seating for group members within their designated seats.

How do I contact customer service?
You can reach our Customer Service Representatives by calling 877-421-0008. Representatives are available 7 days a week 8 am to 8 pm EST. Make the correct  selections for the Piedmont & Northern Railway. Alternatively, you can reach them by email at