Choo choo your way to the Christmas Steam train at the Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan, always a hoot to see and hear! (Cecile Brisebois Guillemot‎)

The holiday season is about to get a whole lot more magical!

The Christmas Express event at the BC Forest Discovery Centre is returning to Duncan this holiday season after a 20-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

Starting today, the train will take passengers on a ride through an enchanted, 100-acre forest, which is lit up with thousands of twinkling lights and displays.

The Christmas Express event is a huge undertaking and largely driven by ‘volunteer elves’ from the community who work alongside staff to ensure the lights are hung, they deck the halls including showcasing our buildings and artifacts to give the museum and forest that magical festive look.

The well-known Green Hornet locomotive (with a little help from Santa’s reindeer) will take you on a journey of music, lights, and wonder that has become a Christmas tradition for so many families on Vancouver Island.

Kids of all ages will be singing along to their favourite carols as they take in the whimsical displays along the train ride.

Tickets must be purchased online and won’t be available at the door. To ensure safety of all visitors, a proof of vaccination will be required and wearing a mask is mandatory.

“We’re excited to welcome you back to a nostalgic and cherished family event that has created many Christmas memories,” said event organizers.

“As our very first in-person event in more than 20 months we are prioritizing the safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers, by making sure the train will be a fun, happy, and safe experience. Though Santa is still on hiatus, we promise an amazing light show that will be the highlight of your Christmas season.”

For more information on schedules and tickets, visit the centre’s website.

The Christmas Express

  • When: The train operates on the below dates from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Train leaves every 30 minutes from 4:30 to 9:30. Last train is at 9:00 p.m.

    • Friday December 3rd, Saturday December 4th, Sunday December 5th and Monday December 6th
    • Thursday December 9th, Friday December 10th, Saturday December 11th, Sunday December 12th and Monday December 13th
    • Thursday December 16th, Friday December 17th, Saturday December 18th, and Sunday December 19th
    • Tuesday December 21st, Wednesday December 22nd and Thursday December 23rd
  • Where: BC Forest Discovery Centre, 2892 Drinkwater Road