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Village of Ashley Country Christmas

Neighbors, villages, cities, family and friends,

As many of you are aware, the Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) in Owosso has been offering a North Pole Express excursion to Chesaning since December of 2006. The North Pole Express excursion is loosely based on the “Polar Express “animated motion picture that debuted in 2004. The movie and book of the same title took place Christmas Eve of 1956 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The steam engine depicted in the film was the image and sounds of the Pere Marquette #1225. The #1225 locomotive is owned by the SRI and is currently in the last stages of a major overhaul.   Unfortunately, the tracks leading from Owosso to Chesaning have been downgraded and the heavy #1225 steam engine is no longer allowed to make the journey to its former stopping point. Therefore, the SRI had to look for an alternative destination for their very successful North Pole Express excursion. Historically speaking, the Village of Ashley sprung up at the junction point of the Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk Western rail lines, lending to historical railroad significance in its own right. The SRI was looking for a small town with railroad history along the old Ann Arbor line. Therefore, the Village of Ashley was one of the first locations that the SRI explored as the new stopping point for the North Pole Express excursion. The SRI approached the Village of Ashley late last winter to determine interest in being the new North Pole Village. After much discussion and deliberation, the Village of Ashley has contracted to be the new North Pole Express excursion destination. 


Please support our community by stepping onto the train in Owosso for the entire experience or by driving into town via a motor car to visit the exciting Village of Ashley Country Christmas celebration.  For the month of December, Ashley’s downtown will be transformed into a 1940’s Christmas Village.  There are 16 excursions scheduled and more will be added as passenger cars become sold out. Each excursion will include 300 plus passengers, with the majority of them being excited children in their pajamas. The passengers will be in town for about 2 hours before returning to Owosso. Therefore, the planning committee is diligently planning activities, sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Christmas. Some of which include, a large illuminated Christmas tree, entertainment on the street and in the hospitality building, reindeer, children’s games and crafts, snacks and food of all types, an old fashion soda shop, a candy store, a wooden toy store and of course lots of Christmas crafts. Not only will the activities be fun for the children but the village will be a great place to pick up those special Christmas gifts for loved ones. To keep with the spirit and excitement of the “Polar Express” movie the most important activity will be when Santa makes his appearance and gives out the first gift of Christmas to one very lucky boy or girl.


The Community of Ashley and the “Village of Ashley Country Christmas” planning committee proudly announces the beginning of an era.  We are offering our neighbors and friends an opportunity to become involved in the activities, sights, sounds and excitement of Christmas. We have many volunteer and paid jobs that we are trying to fill. If anyone in your community is interested please contact the planning committee through the Village of Ashley Office (989) 847-3050.  We would also appreciate your support by advertising on your web or social media sites and posting flyers in your communities.



Ashley’s Country Christmas Village Planning Committee




Village of Ashley County Christmas

Train Trips & Downtown Schedule



Day/Date             Train Arrival       Train Departure                Downtown Opens           Downtown Closes


Fri Nov 29            7:00 pm                9:00 pm                                 6:00 pm                                9:30 pm


Sat Nov 30           11:00 am              1:00 pm                               

(First Trip)                                                                                                                                    10:00 am                              7:30 pm

Sat Nov 30           5:00 pm                7:00 pm                               

(Second Trip)


Sun Dec 1            3:00 pm                5:00 pm                                   2:00 pm                                5:30 pm


Fri Dec 6               7:00 pm                9:00 pm                                  6:00 pm                                9:30 pm


Sat Dec 7              11:00 am              1:00 pm                               

(First Trip)                                                                                                                                     10:00 am                              7:30 pm

Sat Dec 7              5:00 pm                7:00 pm                               

(Second Trip)


Sun Dec 8            3:00 pm                5:00 pm                                    2:00 pm                                5:30 pm


Sat Dec 14           11:00 am              1:00 pm                               

(First Trip)                                                                                                                                        10:00 am                              7:30 pm

Sat Dec 14           5:00 pm                7:00 pm                               

(Second Trip)


Sun Dec 15          11:00 am              1:00 pm                               

(First Trip)                                                                                                                                         10:00 am                              7:30 pm

Sun Dec 15          5:00 pm                7:00 pm                               

(Second Trip)


Sat Dec 21           11:00 am              1:00 pm                               

(First Trip)                                                                                                                                            10:00 am                              7:30 pm

Sat Dec 21           5:00 pm                7:00 pm                               

(Second Trip)


Sun Dec 22          11:00 am              1:00 pm                               

 (First Trip)                                                                                                                                              10:00 am                              7:30 pm

Sun Dec 22          5:00 pm                7:00 pm                               

(Second Trip)



Times are approximate




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