It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since the last Santa Express train rolled through Idaho.  

Thunder Mountain Express in Horseshoe Bend used to look forward to hosting unforgettable visits to Santa’s Village during November and December. The staff went all out decorating the cars for the holidays, playing festive Christmas tunes throughout the cars and gifting children Christmas coloring books.

The hour-and-a-half trip included pictures with Santa in his sleigh, goodies from his elves, and a chance to hang up carrot ornaments for Santa’s trusty team of reindeer to munch on. 

Facebook/Thunder Mountain Line
Facebook/Thunder Mountain Line

Unfortunately, the tourist train failed to attract new riders and really struggled to rebound after the 2007-2008 recession and closed for good in January 2016. 

There’s really nothing like Thunder Mountain Express anywhere else in Idaho, but if you’re willing to take a road trip there is another magical Christmas train waiting to welcome you with open arms!  You’ll find it in Heber City, UT, less than six hours from Boise. 

Facebook/Heber Valley Railroad
Facebook/Heber Valley Railroad

Beginning in mid-November, the Heber Valley Railroad hosts the “North Pole Express,” a 90-minute train journey to the North Pole where Santa will board the train and spend the return trip visiting with passengers and their children. While on the train guests get to enjoy hot cocoa and Mrs. Claus’s special chocolate chip cookies! 

It’s truly a magical experience that will create memories that will last a lifetime. Ready to jump on board and see what the experience is like? We pulled some photos from previous runs of the “North Pole Express” to help you visualize what the experience is like!

All Aboard This Magical Christmas Train Less Than 6 Hours from Boise

Thunder Mountain Line may have closed years ago, but those looking for an experience similar to their "Santa Express" can find this magical train right in Heber City, Utah less than six hours from Boise!

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