Electric Holiday Train O' Lights

Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights, A Mom’s Review

Thank you to Virginia & Truckee Railroad for hosting us. As always all opinions are honest and our own. Read our disclosure.

We recently got the opportunity to ride the V&T Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights.  This is a Christmas-themed train ran by the Virginia & Truckee Railroad that is located in Virginia City.

The V&T Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights leaves from the Virginia City station and runs annually on select weekends during the holiday season.

I am giving a break down of what to expect at the depot and on the train and well as my tips, pros and cons.

Related Articles You May Enjoy:

Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights at Virginia and Truckee Railroad

The Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights journey lasts about 60 minutes. First, you travel 30 minutes away from the station and then 30 minutes back. During the ride, passengers get yummy hot cocoa or cider, a bag of mini cookies, and some twinkling Christmas lights.

They talk about Santa’s workshop nearby, which we’re going to visit. They read “The Night Before Christmas” over the speaker. After around 20 minutes, the train stops. They chat with someone from the workshop, get the go-ahead, and suddenly, the workshop lights up with all its holiday sparkle.

At the workshop, you see busy elves and even Santa himself! He says hello to everyone and knows all the kids’ names on the train. My two youngest were so excited when they heard their names. We spend about 5-8 fun minutes there before the train heads back to the station.

The station, it’s all decked out in Christmas lights with a tree and a sleigh for taking pictures. Inside, there’s a little shop with pajamas, puzzles, overalls, and more.

holiday train virginia city

2023 Season Dates

The 2023 season will run on weekends from November 24- December 24th, 2023. Nov. 24, 25 and Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 & the Grand Finale 23, 24 On each date you have three different times to choose from .


Tickets are sold out for 2023.  The holiday trains in our area are popular and sell out early so we recommend purchasing early. By reserving online you pick-up inside the depot.  I personally recommend the 5pm train.  The depot is less busy and parking is easier.

Ticket Prices

Tickets are sold in groups this year and vary in price.  See below for more price options. Tickets start at $56 for a bench seat (2 seats).


Parking at the station is free.  I highly suggest planning to arrive at the station early to get your parking spot.  The parking lot is located directly across the street from the station. If you are not on the first train parking can be full so you will have to wait until passengers from the previous train leave for a parking spot.


Seating is assigned making it easy once you are on the train.  If you can we recommend purchasing a seat on the left side as that is the side Santa’s workshop is on.

virginia and truckee railroad

Tips For Your Visit

Dress Warm

The train is heated but waiting in line to board is outside with no cover. Dress warm! We recommend hat, jackets, and gloves. If their is snow during your visit we also recommend snow boots.


There are no restrooms on the train, so make sure you and your kids use the restroom at the depot before boarding.


Santa is not on the train, but he is at his workshop. Halfway through the train ride, you’ll stop at Santa’s workshop.  You don’t get off of the train.  Santa tells a story and even calls out the names of all the kids on the train. The kids loved hearing their names. Check out this article for places to get your pictures taken with Santa!

Baby Wear

We recommend carrying your young children or babywearing.  Leave the stroller at home. Pack Water I dont know why but after hot cocoa and cookies my kids are always so thirsty for water.  Pack a water bottle for them. If your kids are wiggly on the train you could also pack a few snacks for them.

The Depot

At the depot, there is a small souvenir shop, where you can find a small assortment of train-themed items.  They accept both cash or card.

I was super impressed with the entire Candy Cane Experience!  From arriving at the station to see waving elves to the singing on the train, I thought they did a wonderful job!  It was also fun to attend while there was snow on the ground. My 4-year old loved hitting me with snowballs as we waited in line to board.  The V&T Candy Cane Express is a great budget-friendly Christmas activity that is fun for the whole family!

virginia and truckee railroad depot

Pros and Cons

My family really enjoyed the Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights! I asked my kids what they liked and didn’t like, and here’s what they said: Pros:

  • Hearing Santa say their names
  • The train being heated
  • Getting hot cocoa and cookies onboard
  • Christmas light sticks given to them on the train
  • Meeting characters like Frosty and Rudolph at the depot for pictures


  • They wished there was more entertainment on the train, like singing or activities with the staff
  • They were bummed there wasn’t a chance to take a picture with Santa

Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights Family Memories

Electric Holiday Train O’ Lights is a great holiday train and with all the Christmas lights it does feel pretty magical.  If you choose to go your family is sure to have an amazing time.


Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the board for Northern Nevada Health Systems, and Northern Nevada Sports and Recreation, and she is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, exploring the outdoors, working out, local coffee shops, and dessert!